Hennepin Healthcare is one of the first healthcare organizations to meet or exceed rigorous requirements for national health equity accreditation
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently announced that Hennepin Healthcare earned its Health Equity Accreditation Plus accreditation, which recognizes organizations that lead the market in providing culturally and linguistically sensitive services, and work to reduce health care disparities. NCQA awards Accreditation to organizations that meet or exceed its rigorous requirements for health equity. Hennepin Healthcare was one of two healthcare organizations in the country to receive this recognition – the first time NCQA has accredited healthcare systems.
Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, Hennepin Healthcare’s Chief Health Equity Officer, has been leading the way in the organization’s efforts to align their practices into policies.
“Having this accreditation highlights our commitment to the community to improve our health equity outcomes and truly be the trusted healthcare system for all.”
The application process, which in the past has only included health care insurance plans, required Hennepin Healthcare to go through not only the rigorous NCQA Health Equity Accreditation Plus steps, but also complete the foundational Health Equity Accreditation process.
“We had to do both at the same time,” said Dr. Sederstrom. “But we found that we had already accomplished most of the basics, so we could focus on the ‘plus’ requirements.”
NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation Plus evaluates how well an organization complies with standards in the following areas: organizational readiness; race/ethnicity, language, gender identify and sexual orientation; access and availability of language services; practitioner network cultural responsiveness; culturally and linguistically appropriate services programs; reducing health care disparities; program to improve social risks and address needs; collection, integration and analysis of community and individual data; cross-sector partnerships and engagement; data management and interoperability; and referrals, outcomes and impact.
“Earning Health Equity Accreditation Plus shows that an organization is making a breakthrough in providing excellent health care to diverse populations. I congratulate any organization that achieves this level of distinction,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is essential to improving the quality of care overall.”
NCQA is a private, nonprofit 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’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more-informed health care choices.