NCQA Launches ACO Accreditation Program

Monday, November 21st, 2011
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

Following a period of public comment, the NCQA launches its ACO accreditation program today. According to the NCQA, ACO accreditation is an independent evaluation of healthcare delivery organizations’ ability to coordinate the high-quality, efficient, patient-centered care expected of ACOs. The program provides a roadmap for provider-led organizations to demonstrate their ability to reach the triple aim: reduce cost, improve quality and enhance the patient experience.

According to PwC’s recent annual report on the top issues facing the health industry in 2012, healthcare and the national deficit rank equally as the second most pressing election concern after job creation on the minds of the American public.

The economy made a major impact on the minds of respondents to our own ongoing survey, Healthcare Trends for 2012, with one respondent stating that “Businesses still faced major economic issues and as a result either closed their doors, downsized their staff or significantly reduced benefits.” You can still voice your opinion on the state of the healthcare industry in our survey; all participants receive a free, downloadable copy of the executive summary once our responses are compiled.

CMS continues its Million Hearts initiative with expanded coverage for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Medicare will now cover one face-to-face visit each year to allow patients and their providers to determine the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease, according to the CMS. The initiative aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2017.

Effective October 13, 2013, healthcare entities must have updated the codes they use regarding diseases and conditions from ICD-9 to ICD-10. It’s a long, involved process, which is why Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) has developed an ICD-10 transitional roadmap, in order to help other organizations reduce the time and effort of implementation. But it’s a necessary process: organizations not ready by the transition date will not be reimbursed for claims. More in this issue of the Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

The mHealth revolution continues, with two out of three healthcare providers saying they will continue to embrace mobile technology, in particular, EMR/EHR systems. Future uses for telemedicine, which garnered only lukewarm interest from survey respondents, include videoconferencing for patient interaction.

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