The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body, has developed an accreditation program that focuses on accountable care organizations (ACOs).
The Accountable Care Organization Accreditation Program (ACOAP) recognizes excellence on the part of ACOs and related IT service organizations by assessing network infrastructure and exchange connectivity in the areas of confidentiality and privacy, technology processes, and security in compliance with federal healthcare legislative mandates including HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and the HITECH (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability)Act.
In addition, the accreditation program focuses on technical performance, business processes and resource management, as well as other key performance quality metrics from areas such a population health, care coordination and other facets to establish trust with all stakeholders within the ACO environment, EHNAC officials say.
Through a self-assessment and consultative site review process, EHNAC will work with ACO accreditation candidates to identify ways to improve efficiency, elevate quality of service, and ensure that the organization aligns with current marketplace trends and standards.
“Today’s ACOs have taken the lead in driving the value-based care model and placing the importance of improving patient outcomes above all else,” Lee Barrett, EHNAC’s executive director, said in a statement. “This new program strengthens the data exchange platforms that make those clinical successes possible by giving a third-party ‘stamp of approval’ to those ACO stakeholders who have demonstrated the secure management of protected health information (PHI) and can provide assurances to their overall corporate integrity and trust between entities.”
Two beta organizations—the Washington, D.C.-based Capital Clinical Integrated Network (CCIN) and HEALTHEC, a healthcare IT and reporting solutions provider based in N.J.—have been finalized as the first organizations to undergo the accreditation process. Within the beta process, the candidate organizations will be evaluated on their compliance with draft criteria, which will then be reviewed and refined prior to the program’s formal launch in Q4 2014.
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