Long-term Services and Supports Distinction for Health Plans FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about NCQA Long-term Services and Supports (LTSS) Distinction for Health Plans. If you don’t see what you’re looking for below, you can search NCQA’s database of common questions or ask a question through My NCQA.

What is Long-term Services and Supports Distinction for Health Plans?

NCQA LTSS Distinction for Health Plans is a complementary program designed to support health plans coordinating LTSS. The program standards provide a framework for organizations to deliver efficient, effective person-centered care that meets people’s needs, helps keep people in their preferred setting and aligns with state requirements.

How does this LTSS Distinction help my organization?

Earning LTSS Distinction can help organizations:

  • Become more efficient. A focus on coordinated care, training and measurement can help organizations reduce errors and duplicated services.
  • Integrate care better. Standards can help organizations improve communication between individuals, caregivers, providers, payers and other organizations that coordinate care.
  • Provide person-centered care. Standards focus on person-centered services, which can lead to better care planning and monitoring.
  • Support contracting needs. Standards align with the state needs. NCQA-Accredited organizations demonstrate that they’re ready to be trusted partners in coordinating LTSS services.

Where can I find the Standards and Guidelines?

Find the Standards and Guidelines document in the NCQA Store.

What organizations are eligible?

An organization is eligible for the NCQA LTSS Distinction for a product/product line if:

  • The product/product line has a current NCQA Accreditation status, or
  • The product/product line is seeking NCQA Health Plan Accreditation.

Note: NCQA conducts LTSS Distinction Surveys at the legal-entity level. Organizations undergoing Interim Survey are not eligible for LTSS distinction.

Health plans that coordinate LTSS and do not provide medical or behavioral services are not eligible for this distinction but can earn Accreditation of Case Management for LTSS.

What is the process for earning Distinction?

The first step to earning distinction is a discussion with an NCQA program expert. Purchase and review the program resources, conduct a gap analysis and submit your online application.

Align your organization’s processes with the standards. NCQA conducts the survey and determines your distinction status within 30 days of the final review.

See a step-by-step process.

What is the price for this Distinction?

Pricing is based on multiple factors. Obtain full pricing information by submitting a request through My NCQA.

How long does it take to earn Distinction?

The typical evaluation time frame is 12 months from application submission to decision, depending on an organization’s readiness. Some organizations may already be working within NCQA guidelines.

How do I get started?

If you are not currently accredited and want to learn more, contact NCQA. If you are currently accredited and want to talk to someone about your status or about renewing or adding accreditations, submit a question through My NCQA.

Where can I find information to help me get started?

Are there additional resources?

  • LTSS Best Practices Academy: Interactive forum for professionals to discuss strategies for coordinating quality long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs.
  • LTSS Roadmap: A compilation of resources to guide organizations through meeting
    Case Management and Health Plan Standards for LTSS.

What other organizations have earned LTSS Distinction?

Organizations that have earned NCQA LTSS Distinction can be found in the NCQA Report Card.

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