FAQ Directory: Health Plan Accreditation

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7.15.2020 Updated: CR 1, Element C- Outsourcing Storage of Credentialing Data To External Entities How many contracts does NCQA review for Element C, factor 4 if an organization outsources credentialing data to external entities?

If an organization contracts with external entities to store its own credentialing data or contracts with CR delegates that store data, NCQA also reviews contracts from up to four randomly selected external entities, or reviews all external entities if the organization has fewer than four. If factor 4 is not addressed in a contract, the organization may also present the external entity’s policies and procedures for review. NCQA reviews documentation from the organization and from each external entity against the factor. To be scored “yes,” the organization's and each external entity’s documentation must meet the factor.

Note: The underlined text is an update to the FAQ posted on June 15, 2020. Refer also to the FAQ on the same date regarding cloud storage entities.

HP 2020

7.15.2020 Updated: UM 12- Outsourcing Storage of Utilization Management Data To External Entities How many contracts does NCQA review for Elements A and B, factor 6 if an organization outsources UM data to external entities?

If an organization contracts with external entities to store its own UM data or contracts with UM delegates that store data, NCQA also reviews contracts from up to four randomly selected external entities, or reviews all external entities if the organization has fewer than four. If factor 6 is not addressed in a contract, the organization may also present the external entity’s policies and procedures for review. NCQA reviews documentation from the organization and from each external entity against the factor. To be scored “yes,” the organization's and each external entity’s documentation must meet the factor.

Note: The underlined text is an update to the FAQ posted on June 15, 2020. Refer also to the FAQ on the same date regarding cloud storage entities.

HP 2020

6.15.2020 UM 12: Outsourcing Storage of Utilization Management Data To External Entities Are cloud-services data storage providers included among the external entities for which NCQA reviews contracts for Elements A and B, factor 6?

NCQA includes external entities that store, create, modify or use UM data for any function covered by the UM standards on behalf of the organization in the scope of Elements A and B, factor 6, with the exception of organizations whose only UM service provided for  the organization is to provide cloud-based data storage functions and not services that create, modify or use UM data.

HP 2020

6.15.2020 CR 1C: Outsourcing Storage of Credentialing Data To External Entities Are cloud-services data storage providers included among the external entities for which NCQA reviews contracts for Element C, factor 4?

NCQA includes external entities that store, create, modify or use CR data for any function covered by the CR standards on behalf of the organization in the scope of Element C, factor 4, with the exception of organizations whose only CR service provided for  the organization is to provide cloud-based data storage functions and not services that create, modify or use CR data.
 

HP 2020

6.15.2020 Product Line Scoring What is the expectation for HPA 2020 product line scoring?

For elements that are reviewed and scored by product line, NCQA expects to see evidence or documentation for each product line. Each product line is scored separately.

For reports, it is acceptable to have one document if the data or analysis for each product line is clearly separated within the document. If a single documented process or policy and procedure applies to multiple product lines, the documented process must state the product lines to which it applies. For materials, if a single document applies to more than one product line, the organization must demonstrate this.
For elements that are not designated to be reviewed and scored by product line, NCQA reviews one document for the element if the product lines are managed the same. Documentation must demonstrate that it applies to all product lines included in the survey (e.g., data and analysis may be combined for a report, but it must be clear that they represent all included product lines).

Evidence in documentation does not need to be separated by product lines; all product lines receive the same score. However, if product lines are managed differently, the element is treated as if it was designated to be reviewed and scored by product line, as described above.

HP 2020

6.15.2020 Updated: Distribution of Rights and Responsibility to Existing Members and Practitioners Does distributing the members rights and responsibilities statement to all members and practitioners annually, whether requested or not, meet the intent of ME 1, Element B, factors 2 and 4 (RR 1, Element B, factors 2 and 4 in MBHO)?

Yes. Distributing the rights and responsibilities statement to all members and practitioners (new upon enrollment and annually to existing) is acceptable, because it is consistent with prior years' and exceeds the standards effective July 1, 2020. Factors 2 and 4 will be scored yes; organizations are not required to track requests for existing members and practitioners during the look-back period.

HP 2020

5.15.2020 UM 5: Medicaid lookback period For Renewal Surveys, the look-back period is specified as 6 months for the Medicaid product line in UM 5, Elements A-C. Is this correct?

No. The look-back period should be specified as 12 months for all product lines, for Renewal Surveys, which is consistent with the other file review standards and elements. NCQA initially changed the scope of review to account for a change made to verbal notification and how it no longer affords organizations an extension.

However, because of this error, if an organization does not meet a factor in UM 5, Elements A-C within the first 6 months of the look-back period, NCQA does not penalize the organization and scores the file “NA” instead of “Not Met” for Medicaid surveys.

HP 2020

4.15.2020 Update: Practitioner Involvement and Adoption of UM Criteria For UM 2, Element A, factor 4, when an organization develops or adopts UM criteria, may it limit involvement of practitioners to practitioners who are organization staff, even if they are also network practitioners?

The answer posted in March 2020 unintentionally increased the rigor of the requirement for the 2020 standards year. Therefore, we are updating the answer.
For the 2020 standards year, organizations may limit involvement to practitioners who are staff or participants in the network; NCQA does not require non-staff network practitioners to be involved.

Effective for the 2021 standards year, organizations may not limit involvement to practitioners who are staff. Non-staff network practitioners must also be involved in developing, adopting and reviewing criteria, because they are subject to application of the criteria. If an organization has been unable to involve network practitioners, it must document its attempts and provide the documentation to NCQA during the survey.

This change will be released in the 2021 standards and guidelines.

HP 2020

4.15.2020 LTSS 1, Element G: HEDIS Measure The November 2019 Policy Update change to LTSS 1, Element G specifies that the Comprehensive Assessment and Update (LTSS-CAU) measure may be used instead of completing the file review. Is this correct?

No. Replace “LTSS-CAU” with “LTSS-CPU“ (Comprehensive Care Plan and Update). Performance results of LTSS-CPU may be used instead of completing the file review.

HP 2020

3.26.2020 Guidance and Exceptions to NCQA Programs Regarding Coronavirus Has NCQA issued guidance about exceptions or modifications to NCQA programs and requirements in response to the coronavirus?

Yes. NCQA posted guidance for HEDIS reporting and Accreditation/Recognition programs at https://www.ncqa.org/covid/. NCQA is monitoring the effects of the coronavirus on our customers; we will adjust requirements as circumstances warrant. Please continue to check this website frequently as the situation continues to evolve.

 

HP 2019

3.15.2020 Clarifying HPA 2020 Scoring with File Review Scoring Question Please explain “PARTIALLY MET” for scoring that reads “High (90-100%) or medium (60-89%) on file review for X factors” in file review elements (e.g., PHM 5, Element D)?

Interpret that text to mean any combination of high and medium other than the scoring thresholds specified for “MET.”
For example, an organization must earn “high” on 7 factors to score MET on PHM 5, Element D; therefore, to score “PARTIALLY MET” for that element, it may earn “high” on 0–6 factors and “medium” on the remaining factors.

HP 2020

3.15.2020 PHM 3, Element A, Factor 3: Practice transformation support Does reporting a physician’s designation or status as “integrated or advanced” practice in a web-based physician directory meet the requirement to support practice transformation?

No. Publicly reporting a practice’s designation or status does not constitute “active support.” Organizations may actively support transformation through financial incentives, learning collaboratives, MOC credits and other methods.

HP 2020