THE HEALTH EQUITY JOURNEY
Improving health equity requires engagement and partnerships across the entire health care industry, as well as with industry stakeholders such as employers, regulators and community-based organizations. NCQA Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus are a guide to help health systems, health plans and other care organizations advance health equity.
Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus support health care organizations in evaluating and elevating the health of the populations they serve.
NCQA recognizes that organizations may be in different places on their health equity journey.
Health Equity Accreditation focuses on the foundation of health equity work: building an internal culture that supports the organization’s external health equity work; collecting data that help the organization create and offer language services and provider networks mindful of individuals’ cultural and linguistic needs; identifying opportunities to reduce health inequities and improve care.
Health Equity Accreditation Plus is for organizations further along on their health equity journey. It focuses on collecting data on community social risk factors and patients’ social needs, to help the organization offer social resources that can have the most impact; establishing mutually beneficial partnerships that support community-based organizations; building meaningful opportunities for patient and consumer engagement; identifying opportunities to improve social need referral processes and the partnerships that make them possible.
Together, NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus programs offer an actionable framework for helping health plans and health systems continuously improve—and prioritize—health equity for the patients and communities they serve.
NCQA’s HEALTH EQUITY ACCREDITATION PROGRAMS HELP HEALTH SYSTEMS, HEALTH PLANS AND OTHER CARE ORGANIZATIONS:
- Reduce inequities
- Use the frameworks for collecting race, ethnicity, language, gender identity and sexual orientation data to identify the unique needs of your membership
- Align staff and leadership
- Establish standardized structures, processes and goals that align the entire organization and work culture around diversity, equity and inclusion principles
- Support contracting
- Position your organization to have a distinguishing factor that demonstrates your commitment and accountability for elevating health equity to payers, regulators and business partners
- Monitor Improvement
- Improve the culturally and linguistically appropriate services offered to members and determine the gaps in care and address to tailor solutions accordingly
- Become recognized for equity
- Demonstrate your ongoing commitment to improving health equity to the members, patients and communities you serve
More organizations are realizing the value of health equity. Take action to begin your organization’s health equity journey!