New NCQA programs help providers improve population health efforts

The National Committee for Quality Assurance is launching two population health management programs.

The organization, which measures health plan performance and supports other programs to improve healthcare processes, is starting a Population Health Program Accreditation initiative to assess how a healthcare organization applies population health concepts to programs for a defined population.

The program will include standards to provide a framework for organizations to align with evidence-based care, becoming more efficient at managing complex needs and controlling patient risks to prevent unnecessary costs.

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Participating organizations will be evaluated in how they handle data integration, population assessment, population segmentation, targeted interventions, practitioner support, and measurement and quality improvement.

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The program will move the industry into greater focus on person-centered population health management, says Margaret O’Kane, NCQA’s president. “Not only does it add value to existing quality improvement efforts, but it also demonstrates an organization’s highest level of commitment to improving the quality of care that meet people’s needs.”

NCQA’s Population Health Management Prevalidation program evaluates health IT systems and identifies functionality that supports or meets NCQA standards for population health management, which could increase an organization’s value by assuring current and possible clients that the organization’s technology will support their goals.

Issues to be evaluated under the Population Health Management Prevalidation program include data integration, population assessment, segmentation, and case management systems. Further, organizations meeting NCQA requirements will be credited toward their NCQA surveys with reduced documentation to support their surveys and receive marketing support via pre-validated vendors on the NCQA website.

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