Healthcare Business News

NCQA announces first ACO accreditation

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: December 13, 2012 - 12:45 pm ET

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, a Houston physician group, is the first healthcare provider to be accredited as an accountable care organization by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, according to a news release.

The 350-doctor, 20-location clinic was one of six organizations that first applied for ACO accreditation after the NCQA began taking submissions in March of this year.

The accreditation is based on NCQA's evaluation of Kelsey-Seybold's ability to deliver coordinated, patient-centered care while improving quality, reducing costs and enhancing the patient experience, according to the release. The assessment focused on characteristics such as structure and operations; access to providers; patient rights and responsibilities; and performance reporting.

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“By being the first organization to earn NCQA ACO accreditation, Kelsey-Seybold has demonstrated to payers and other purchasers that it has met challenging requirements designed to show the efficiency, integration and high quality expected of an accountable care organization,” Margaret O'Kane, NCQA president, said in the release. “NCQA Accreditation also shows patients and providers that Kelsey-Seybold is prepared to deliver on the promise of better care on all these dimensions.”

A clinic spokeswoman said that Kelsey-Seybold is not participating in the Medicare shared savings program for ACOs.

Along with the new ACO accreditation, the Washington-based NCQA also ranks insurance companies and offers a patient-centered medical home recognition program, which has recognized 5,036 practice sites as medical homes.

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