ncqa Nov 03, 2023
MHR NCQA Health Equity


Word count:  535

Estimated time to read:  3 minutes

NCQA has been at the forefront of the journey to health equity, beginning with the Multicultural Healthcare Distinction in 2010, then NCQA Health Equity (HE) Accreditation in 2021, and followed up with HE Plus Accreditation in 2023. Being accredited shows that organizations are committed to their members and the communities they serve to achieve equitable care. 

The question for NCQA-Accredited Health Plans (HP) and MBHOs is not if they should become NCQA HE-Accredited but how and when they take action to do so. 

State agencies are increasingly mandating organizations to be accredited for health equity, particularly for Medicaid and Exchange products. Additionally,  NCQA encourages the adoption of NCQA HE Accreditation in alignment with CMS’s goal to advance health equity in Medicare Advantage.  

The Value of NCQA HE Accreditation to HPs & MBHOs

NCQA HE Accreditation adds value to your organization in many ways. 

  • Organizations are better aligned with their members
  • Costs and resources are reduced
  • Quality of care improves
  • Member experience is enhanced
  • Collaborative programs foster practitioner engagement
  • Organizations may be eligible for automatic credit
  • Certain services can be delegated to other HE-accredited organizations
  • Organizations may market their status according to NCQA’s guidelines

The Path to NCQA HE Accreditation for HPs & MBHOs

NCQA HE Accreditation standards provide guidelines to help organizations move beyond allocating resources for programs where “one size fits all” to targeted, data-driven, cost-effective initiatives built on the integration of community input and involvement.  

Importantly, NCQA Accredited HPs & MBHOs have likely implemented some aspects of health equity standards when collecting data for population health management, supporting language services, and ensuring practitioner networks meet the needs of member diversity.

Though a separate accreditation, NCQA HE Accreditation builds upon NCQA HP & MBHO Accreditations and emphasizes how organizations use their data to reduce health care disparities.  

Are you ready to take the next step to HE Accreditation?  The path to NCQA HE Accreditation begins with an assessment of your readiness. In our April 2023 blog, we posed the question: Health Equity Accreditation: Should You Pursue It?  

Here are a few reminders from the 2024 standards as you prepare:

How can MHR help?

Driving excellence is within MHR’s Vision, and therefore, we wholeheartedly promote and support NCQA HE Accreditation.

We will assess your:

  • Team’s in-depth knowledge of the HE standards
  • Policies and procedures, including those with critical factors
  • Reports including analyses on reducing health care disparities
  • Materials shared with members and practitioners
  • Delegation and vendor agreements
  • Delegated oversight
  • Current relationships with entities that may support data collection for HE 2 B-E
  • Eligibility for automatic credit
  • Overall organizational readiness

Additionally, when you engage with MHR as your consultant, we help you plan for the timing of your HE Accreditation survey submission to optimize your eligibility for automatic credit on your subsequent HP survey.

Call to Action:    

  • Don’t delay! Schedule a Discovery Call with MHR or ask your current MHR consultant  
  • Schedule training on health equity with our MHR consultants
  • Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on considerations when delegating to an NCQA HE-Accredited organization


Contact Susan Moore, CEO & President

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.