The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced it will use its considerable experience evaluating health care quality and performance to accelerate improvement with one of the health care system’s most persistent problems—inequitable care. NCQA’s new Health Equity Accreditation program sets a robust framework for organizations to identify and close individual care gaps, and as a result, to collectively improve health equity nationwide.
Racial disparities cost the U.S. an estimated $93B in excess medical costs and $42B in lost productivity per year, as well as economic losses due to premature deaths.
NCQA’s newly minted Health Equity Accreditation program offers a framework to assist health plans, health systems and other care organizations to:
- Assess where care disparities may exist and work to eliminate gaps.
- Improve quality, monitor improvement and standardize processes.
- Deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
- Align staff, leadership and their supporting organizations.
- Strengthen organizations’ appeal for employer and government contract partnerships.
The Health Equity Accreditation Program is an expansion and evolution of NCQA’s prior Multicultural Health Distinction program already championed by several insurance plans and state governments. Simply stated, the program holds organizations accountable to prove they evaluate and elevate the health of all the populations they serve.
Health Equity Accreditation is available for insurance plans, health systems and other care delivery organizations immediately. Evaluations (surveys) begin in July 2022.