WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Essentia Health and HealthPartners are the first two Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to receive NCQA’s highest designation—level 3 ACO Accreditation. The two organizations were among six early adopters when the program launched in 2012.
“ACO accreditation at the highest level by NCQA assures our patients, communities and insurers that Essentia holds itself to the highest standards of healthcare service, quality and affordability.”
“ACO Accreditation shows that an organization is committed to efficiency and integration, and that patients are getting the care they need,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “I commend Essentia Health and HealthPartners for delivering on the promise of better care in all these dimensions.”
"At Essentia Health, our mission is to make a healthy difference in people's lives," says John Smylie, Chief Operating Officer at Essentia Health. "ACO accreditation at the highest level by NCQA assures our patients, communities and insurers that Essentia holds itself to the highest standards of healthcare service, quality and affordability."
"Being an early adopter of the ACO program has helped us ensure that our goals as an organization are seamlessly aligned with those of our members and patients," said Beth Waterman, Chief Improvement Officer at HealthPartners. "Coordinated, accountable care is more affordable, provides a better experience to the patient, and ultimately improves patient health and well-being. That is what matters to the people we care for, and therefore is our mission every single day."
NCQA ACO Accreditation is the first evaluation program to assess organizations’ ability to coordinate and deliver the care expected of ACOs. The program evaluates whether ACOs:
- Ensure access to and availability of care.
- Protect patient rights, including privacy.
- Have a solid foundation of patient-centered primary care.
- Have the necessary care management and coordination capabilities.
- Monitor practice patterns and uses performance data to improve quality.
- Use decision support tools to help patients and providers identify the best care.
- Have necessary stakeholder participation, structure, contracting and payment arrangements.
ACOs coordinate doctors, hospitals and other health professionals to make sure people get all the care they need, while eliminating waste and inefficiency. Payments to ACOs reward quality and efficiency rather than the volume of services.
To learn more about NCQA ACO Accreditation program click here.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.