December 1, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) launches a pilot program today to develop its Health Equity Accreditation Plus evaluation program—with the assistance of nine leading health organizations from across the country. Health Equity Accreditation Plus helps health care organizations establish processes and cross-sector partnerships that identify and address social risk factors in their communities and the social needs of the people they serve.
Health Equity Accreditation Plus builds on NCQA’s recently launched Health Equity Accreditation program that set a robust framework for improving health equity by helping organizations identify and close care gaps. Health Equity Accreditation Plus builds on these activities for organizations that are more advanced in their health equity procedures and data collection.
“As the nation’s leading health care performance measurement and quality organization, NCQA knows high quality care is equitable care,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA President. “Every person deserves the best quality treatment, no matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation or cultural background.”
NCQA believes improving health equity requires engagement and partnerships across the health care industry, as well as with industry stakeholders such as employers, regulators and community-based organizations.
Health Equity Accreditation Plus is a significant advance in NCQA’s health equity strategy. The pilot program is the first measurement or evaluation service in NCQA’s 31-year history to include health systems. The health systems and health plans that have volunteered time and resources to participate in the pilot are:
- Aetna Better Health of Michigan.
- Geisinger Health Plan.
- Health Net of California, Inc.
- Hennepin Healthcare (health system).
- Molina Healthcare of California.
- Novant Health (health system).
- Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc.
- UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan, Inc. dba UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (MI).
- UPMC Health Plan.
NCQA will work with pilot participants to test the concepts and application of Health Equity Accreditation Plus. Feedback from these organizations will be used to further review, enhance and streamline the Health Equity Accreditation Plus standards.
Health Equity Accreditation Plus will be available to health plans, health systems and other care organizations in spring 2022.