FAQs: Patient-Centered Connected Care

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition program. If you don’t see what you are looking for below, you can  ask a question through My NCQA.

What is NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition™?

NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition evaluates how ambulatory care providers—such as urgent care centers, onsite employee health clinics and school- and retail-based clinics—communicate and connect with primary care providers as they deliver care to shared patients.

The program creates a roadmap for how sites that deliver occasional or outpatient treatment—but do not act as a primary care provider for a majority of patients—can fit into the medical home “neighborhood.” Sites that demonstrate they follow NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care standards can earn an NCQA seal.

How does Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition help our organization?

The NCQA standards are guidelines for how organizations can deliver the high-quality, patient-centered care that patients and partners want. Standards are based on improving continuity of care, meeting patient needs and improving quality in the organization. By learning these standards, performing a gap analysis and applying these standards, an organization can identify possible deficiencies in care delivery and improve the care they deliver.

Not only is this good for patients, but primary care providers, payers and others are looking for ambulatory care sites who are good partners in care delivery. Earning NCQA Recognition demonstrates a commitment to providing integrated, patient-centered care that reduces fragmentation in the health care system.

What are the requirements for NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition?

Sites that want to become recognized must meet requirements across 5 standards. Standards include elements and factors that add to a standard’s score. Some elements are “must-pass”: A site must receive a minimum score on them to earn recognition.

The five standards look at:

  1. Connecting With Primary Care. The site connects with and shares information with primary care providers.
  2. Identifying Patient Needs. The site directs patients to appropriate providers when necessary.
  3. Patient Care and Support. The site uses evidence-based decision support in care delivery, collaborates with patients to make care decisions and delivers culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  4. System Capabilities. The site uses electronic systems to collect data and execute tasks.
  5. Measure and Improve Performance. The site systematically monitors performance and carries out activities to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Where can I find the Standards and Guidelines?

Find the Standards & Guidelines document, the survey tool and application in the NCQA Store.

What organizations are eligible for Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition?

Clinics or practices that provide outpatient health consultation or treatment of acute/ episodic illness are eligible.

Your site acts as a primary care practice for most of its patients.You are probably not eligible for NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition, but you are eligible for NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition.
  • Family medicine 
  • Internal medicine 
  • Pediatric medicine
Your site provides specialty care and is staffed by board-certified specialists.You are probably not eligible for Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition, but you are eligible for NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition.
  • Specialty represented by American Board of Medical Specialties
  • Behavioral health/mental health
Your site provides some primary or episodic care, but does not serve as the primary care practice for most of your patients.You are probably eligible for Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition.
  • Onsite employee health clinics
  • Retail clinics
  • Urgent care centers
  • School-based clinics
Your site provides outpatient services not described above.You are probably eligible for Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition.
  • Physical therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Optometry
  • Chiropractic

How do we earn Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition?

Practice sites must go through a survey process that involves submitting documentation to NCQA. Some sites may also be reviewed through an onsite visit. See a step-by-step process.

How much does Patient Centered Connected Care Recognition cost?

The Standard Survey price is the fee for eligible providers undergoing the process for the first time and at the time of renewal. Pricing is based on the number of sites brought forward for each recognizable entity:

  • $1,500 per site for the first 50 sites.
  • $750 per site for sites 51–500 sites.
  • $0 for sites 501+ (cap).

You can find the definition of “recognizable entity” in the Standards and Guidelines document.

How long does it take to earn Patient-Centered Connected Care?

It depends on how many program requirements you have already implemented. After you submit the survey, it takes approximately 60 days to receive a decision from NCQA. NCQA recommends that you perform a gap analysis and begin implementing changes in your organization from 9–12 months before the date when you want to earn recognition.

How do we start?

If your practice is not currently recognized and is interested in learning more about NCQA Recognition, contact NCQA.

If your practice is currently recognized and wants to talk to someone about its current status, renewing or adding recognitions, submit a question through My NCQA.

Have many other organizations have earned NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care?

More than 100 organizations have earned Patient-Centered Connected Care. Find a directory of recognized organizations at the NCQA Report Card.

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