Consumers, providers, health systems and health plans asked to submit comments through Dec. 28, 2012
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, a leading health care accreditation, education, and measurement organization, today opened a call for public comment to share input and recommendations on proposed initial standards for clinically integrated networks. As elements of the Affordable Care Act are implemented, physician practice organizations and other providers are rapidly advancing new care delivery models to provide better care for individuals and populations while reining in costs. Clinically integrated delivery networks are organized to monitor and deliver cost-effective, quality care across a network of providers by emphasizing collaboration, care coordination, and clinical and financial integration.
URAC's initial standards for the Clinically Integrated Network Accreditation program were developed to support a set of key principles, among them improving efficiency and value to those who purchase care by establishing best practices across the network in clinical and care management, care coordination and patient engagement. Developed by an expert industry advisory committee comprised of stakeholders from provider organizations, health plans, health care consultants and consumer groups, the proposed standards outline operational, clinical, health information technology and reporting structures needed to maximize collaboration and communication across a network of providers. The URAC standards advisory group is led by Ken Yale, DDS, JD, vice president of clinical solutions and innovation at ActiveHealth Management, author and national leader in health system innovation in the hospital and physician arenas.
"Clinically integrated networks have emerged as a result of new demands placed on the health care system for accountability and patient-centered care," Yale said. "The clinically integrated network creates efficiencies in care delivery and aligns patient outcomes and clinical goals for a new model that fundamentally benefits consumers. It's not just a new way of doing business—it's a way to make health care better."
URAC accreditation will bring value for clinically integrated provider networks by providing external validation that they have the infrastructure and processes to support collaboration, care coordination and clinical integration, said Alan Spielman, URAC president and CEO. "There is a clear need in the health care marketplace to improve coordination of patient care. This accreditation builds on URAC's experience and success in its Case Management Accreditation, Health Network Accreditation and Patient-Centered Health Care Home programs. It offers an operational blueprint that aligns with Federal Trade Commission antitrust guidance for clinically integrated networks while focusing on best practices in evidence-based clinical outcomes and quality improvement."
Key areas of focus for the accreditation are:
- Operations and structure
- Clinical management
- Health information technology
- Population health
- Patient centeredness
- Care coordination
- Measures and reporting
URAC is seeking comments specifically from multi-specialty provider groups, independent delivery systems, independent physicians associations, physician-hospital organizations, consumer groups and health plans with an interest in clinically integrated networks and accountable care organizations. To review the draft standards and submit comments, go to http://www.urac.org/publiccomment. Comments must be submitted by 6 p.m. EST, Dec. 28, 2012.
URAC anticipates releasing the approved Clinically Integrated Network Standards in spring of 2013. For more information about the URAC Clinically Integrated Network Accreditation program, contact Donna Merrick, senior director, product development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 216-9010.
URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, promotes health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system and provides a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, call (202) 326-3943, or visit www.urac.org and our Twitter and LinkedIn sites.