The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has released proposed criteria for accountable care organizations (ACOs).  Public comments are due November 19, 2010. NCQA is the first national quality organization to propose specific criteria for ACOs, in anticipation of proposed federal regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for implementing accountable care organizations under Medicare authorized by section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, expected in December 2010.  NCQA’s proposed criteria have the following domains:

Program Structure Operations

Access and Availability

Primary Care

Care Management

Care Coordination and Transitions

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Performance Reporting

Many of the elements for meeting the proposed criteria either explicitly or implicitly mirror or build on the requirements for meaningful use of certified electronic health records under the HITECH Act and NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition.

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