FAQ Directory: Physician and Hospital Quality Certification

Filter Results
  • Save

    Save your favorite pages and receive notifications whenever they’re updated.

    You will be prompted to log in to your NCQA account.

  • Email

    Share this page with a friend or colleague by Email.

    We do not share your information with third parties.

  • Print

    Print this page.

11.15.2012 Certification for information providers May an information provider earn certification for the pieces it provides (e.g., standards, methodology, underlying data), while its customer (i.e., health plan that publishes the information) pursues other pieces (e.g., member communication and complaints, physician communication)?

No. PHQ consists of the specified certification options: Physician Quality (PQ), Hospital Quality (HQ), or both. Contact phq@ncqa.org to discuss your situation so we can consider additional survey options to meet market needs.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Defining "Taking Action" Is there a new definition of taking action in the 2013 PHQ Standards?

Yes. In prior versions of PHQ, NCQA required organizations to include all programs that met the definition of taking action in the survey, NCQA had a narrower definition. Because under PHQ 2013 organization chooses which programs to include or exclude in a PHQ survey, NCQA has broadened the definition so that if it chooses, an organization may opt to have programs certified that may not have been required under the prior PHQ.

For PHQ 2013, NCQA has defined taking action as: 1) Publicly reporting performance on quality or cost, resource use or utilization; 2) Using performance on quality or cost, resource-use or utilization measures as a basis for network design (such as tiering) or benefit design; 3) Using performance on quality or cost, resource-use or utilization measures to allocate rewards under a systematic, pay-for-performance program; 4) Reporting performance on quality, cost, resource use or utilization to physicians to support referral decisions.

If an organization is interested in certification for a program that includes actions not include an action defined above, it should contact NCQA to determine eligibility.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Requests for corrections or changes Are organizations responsible for confirming the factors in Element F, or is this the responsibility of an external vendor?

For Element F, the organization must demonstrate that it has a process to verify that it has followed the specifications outlined in Element C (e.g., sample sizes, attribution, statistical validity). If the organization uses a vendor to administer the survey, this process may be performed by the vendor, but documentation demonstrating how the element is met must be included for the PHQ Survey.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Complaints The concept of "member complaints" pertains to health plans only, but not necessarily to Web sites or collaboratives. How does NCQA evaluate for those entities?

Though an organization may not have members in the way a health plan does, Web sites have users or consumers who might want to submit complaints (e.g., user complaints). Therefore, to meet the intent of Elements C and D, an organization must have policies and procedures to process, register and respond to consumer complaints; and must provide a documented process and evidence for how it handled those complaints.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Methodology for evaluation of cost measures What constitutes an acceptable methodological approach to evaluation of cost?

NCQA does not prescribe the cost measures an organization selects, though it requires an organization to specify all aspects of its methodology (Element C). In addition, the organization must risk-adjust its measures (Element C, factor 8) and must meet the minimum statistical requirements for measurement error and measure reliability (PQ1 Element D, factor 2).

PHQ 2013

11.15.2012 Changing measure specifications With regard to patient experience measures, may we use items from CAHPS-CG but change the referent time period? For example, not rating the last 12 months, but rating the last visit and changing the response categories accordingly?

No. Changing the referent time period materially alters the measure and would therefore not qualify as a standardized measure for Element A. Patient experience measures endorsed, developed or accepted by the NQF, AMA PCPI, national accreditors or government agencies may be used, but the organization must follow the measure or instrument specifications as written.

PHQ 2013

11.15.2010 Use of the term "days" within the Standards & Guidelines Do all references to "days" in the standards and guidelines mean "calendar days"?

Yes. Unless otherwise specified, all references to "days" in the standards and guidelines mean calendar days.

PHQ 2013