UnitedHealthcare Community Plans Receive New Health Equity Accreditation

Debra Long is a Clinical Quality Consultant and Sharon Ricciuti is the Director of Clinical Quality on the UnitedHealthcare Clinical Leadership and Accountability team.

Many UnitedHealthcare Community Plans have received NCQA Health Equity Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for meeting or exceeding rigorous requirements for health equity. NCQA is the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private, nonprofit organization that Accredits and Certifies a wide range of health care organizations. The Accredited plans are:

  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kentucky
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Missouri
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New York
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New Jersey
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee (previously held a NCQA Distinction in Multicultural Health Care)
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Virginia
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin

In addition, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan has also achieved NCQA Health Equity Accreditation Plus as an organization that leads the market in providing culturally and linguistically sensitive services and works to reduce health care inequities.

Prioritizing and Improving Health Equity for Patients and Communities

According to the NCQA, Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus give health care organizations an actionable framework for improving health equity. The programs support health care organizations in evaluating and elevating the health of the populations they serve.1

Health Equity Accreditation focuses on building an internal culture that supports the organization’s external health equity work. This includes collecting data that helps the organization create and offer language services and provider networks mindful of individuals’ cultural and linguistic needs. It also identifies opportunities to reduce health inequities and improve care.

Health Equity Accreditation Plus is for organizations whose health equity journey is more established. It focuses on:

  • Collecting data on community social risk factors and patients’ social needs to help the organization offer social resources that can have the most impact.
  • Establishing mutually beneficial partnerships that support community-based organizations.
  • Building meaningful opportunities for patient and consumer engagement.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve social need referral processes and the partnerships that make them possible.

Together, NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus programs prioritize health equity for the patients and communities they serve. In addition, the following plans are scheduled to undergo surveys for NCQA Health Equity Accreditation:

  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaiʻi
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Maryland
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nevada
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Pennsylvania
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Rhode Island

Elective Programs Showing How Plans Provide High-Quality, Culturally Competent Care

Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus are nationally recognized Accreditations that purchasers, regulators and consumers can use to distinguish organizations that meet rigorous standards for serving a diverse population. Organizations are not required to participate in other NCQA Accreditation programs.

“Cultural competency is crucial to providing high-quality health care,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Organizations achieving Health Equity Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation Plus are leaders in closing the ethnic and racial disparities gap, and NCQA commends them for their dedication.”

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. This is the first group of UnitedHealthcare Community Health Plans to receive the new NCQA Health Equity Accreditation or NCQA Health Equity Accreditation Plus status. Additional UnitedHealthcare Community & State plans are working through the program now and upcoming accreditations will be announced soon.

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