NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation Programs
Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus give health care organizations an actionable framework for improving health equity.
The health care industry is reevaluating how to improve health equity across all populations. Committing to eliminating health disparities in underserved populations not only results in better health outcomes, but also reduces overall treatment costs.
Federal and state agencies are looking for health organizations that establish guidelines to identify and close gaps in unequal treatment. The emphasis on health equity has become a priority in business: employers increasingly choose to contract only with accredited organizations that deliver high-quality, equitable health care to their employees.
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 systems continuously improve—and prioritize—health equity for the patients and communities they serve.