Public is Invited to Comment on Proposed Accreditation and Certification Updates

WASHINGTON--()--The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) seeks the public’s input on changes to several accreditation and certification programs during a public comment period from February 25–March 18.

Programs Open for Public Comment

Behavioral Healthcare Updates: NCQA performed a comprehensive reevaluation of requirements in our Managed Behavioral Healthcare Organization (MBHO) Accreditation program. Updates include the addition of standards for complex case management and enhancement to standards for care coordination. These updates are aimed at reducing fragmentation in medical care and behavioral health care, as well as managing members with complex health care needs. To maintain alignment in expectations for the care provided to the behavioral health care population, NCQA proposes that recommended MBHO updates, if applicable, also be made to the corresponding requirement in our Health Plan Accreditation (HPA) program. Additionally, NCQA has proposed updates to HPA delegation requirements to encourage data sharing between health plans and their delegates. The updates to MBHO 2014 and HPA 2014 will be tentatively released in July 2013.

These changes are intended to enhance behavioral health care expectations across the health care system and reduce barriers to performing measurement and quality improvement.

Wellness & Health Promotion: NCQA’s proposed updates to the Wellness & Health Promotion (WHP) program reflect emerging technology and capabilities in the wellness and health promotion. Examples include emphasizing the need to exchange and integrate data as well as clarifying language to allow mobile applications as part of the digital services they may provide.

In addition, NCQA is proposing to create certification options for organizations that do not provide comprehensive wellness services. Certification options will include: Health Appraisals, Self- Management Tools and Health Coaching. The Health Appraisal and Self-Management Tool certification options will be removed from the Health Information Product (HIP) and only be offered through the WHP program. Under the new WHP certifications, organizations will be required to demonstrate compliance with privacy and performance improvement standards. The 2014 WHP program will tentatively be released in July 2013.

Proposed changes are intended to align the WHP program with policies in the Affordable Care Act and help employers to promote healthier workplaces.

Other Program Updates – Including Disease Management and Health Plan Accreditation & Certification: NCQA proposes minor changes to the Disease Management program that will correct and clarify scoring of some elements under the different certification options. For HPA, NCQA proposes to expand the Member Connections standards for plans serving Medicare, Medicaid and Exchange populations. NCQA also poses questions regarding how to address a growing concern about the accuracy of provider directories.

“Public Comment is a great opportunity for all interested parties to help us shape the next editions of our accreditation and certification programs,” says Patricia Barrett, NCQA’s Vice President of Product Development. “Input from stakeholders ensures the soundness and usability of these programs.”

How to Participate in Public Comment

To read and comment on the proposed changes, visit The Public Comment period begins at 9 a.m. ET on February 25 and ends at 5 p.m. ET on March 18. NCQA will review input from Public Comment and release final program changes in July.

About NCQA

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 is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, customers, health care providers and researchers.


National Committee for Quality Assurance
Andy Reynolds, 202-955-3518

Release Summary

NCQA seeks the public’s input on changes to several accreditation and certification programs during a public comment period from February 25–March 18.


National Committee for Quality Assurance
Andy Reynolds, 202-955-3518