7 Domains of NCQA Fall ACO Accreditation: Benefits for Early Adopters

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

Early adopters of the NCQA ACO accreditation effort launching this fall are eligible for discounted survey fees, online education tools and promotion via NCQA press release. Order the NCQA ACO standards.

NCQA worked with consumer advocates, purchasers and other healthcare and managed care experts to develop seven standards by which it will evaluate Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The ACO Accreditation program evaluates organizations in seven domains:

1. ACO Structure and Operations

The organization clearly defines its organizational structure, demonstrates capability to manage resources and aligns provider incentives through payment arrangements and other mechanisms to promote the delivery of efficient and effective care.

2. Access to Needed Providers

The organization has sufficient numbers and types of practitioners and provides timely access to culturally competent healthcare.

3. Patient-Centered Primary Care

The primary care practices within the organization act as medical homes for patients.

4. Care Management

The organization collects, integrates and uses data from various sources for care management, performance reporting and identifying patients for population health programs. The organization provides resources to patients and practitioners to support care management activities.

5. Care Coordination and Transitions

The organization facilitates timely exchange of information between providers, patients and their caregivers to promote safe transitions.

6. Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The organization informs patients about the role of the ACO and its services. It is transparent about its clinical performance and any performance-based financial incentives offered to practitioners.

7. Performance Reporting and Quality Improvement

The organization measures and publically reports performance on clinical quality of care, patient experience and cost measures. The organization identifies opportunities for improvement and brings together providers and stakeholders to collaborate on improvement initiatives.

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