The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has released draft standards for accountable care organizations (ACOs). Public comments can be made through November 19th. Beginning in January 2012, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow qualifying health care provider groups, including hospitals, to form ACOs to improve care coordination and quality for patients while sharing in cost savings they achieve for the Medicare program. NCQA is responsible for developing quality measures for health plans, including Medicare Advantage plans. The draft criteria were developed by an NCQA task force to assess “core capabilities” for ACO success.
The draft standards are available at http://www.ncqa.org/tabid/1266/Default.aspx.