WASHINGTON – July 30, 2018 – Healthcare accreditor URAC submitted comments in response to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) request for information regarding the establishment of access standards for hospital care, medical services and extended care services for covered veterans for purposes of the Veterans Community Care Program.
Basing its recommendations on nearly three decades as a premier accreditor of health plans focused on quality and consumer protection, and drawing from its extensive knowledge of national network adequacy standards, URAC encourages the VA to:
- Develop a system by which Community Care Networks are evaluated utilizing a dynamic process that focuses on the unique needs of veterans in their communities
- Allow national best practices to be adopted in a manner that conforms to the unique communities in which veterans receive care
- Create a process that requires constant evaluation of veterans’ needs against the existing provider network – including evaluating demographics of veterans and the capacity of providers in the community
- Include a strong appeal and complaint process as part of the evaluation of provider networks
- Leverage national quality standards currently being used by HHS, state regulators, and commercial insurers.
“While quantitative standards as part of the overall dynamic evaluation process provides a benchmark to measure against, they are not sufficient because they are merely a static marker in time,” says URAC President and CEO Kylanne Green. “URAC’s standards governing network adequacy require health plans to evaluate the needs of their enrollees against their network, identify deficiencies, and implement timely corrections. We have found that this approach is the best way to evaluate the adequacy of a network from a national perspective because it puts the patient and their unique needs at the center.”
A PDF of URAC’s comments can be viewed by clicking here.
Founded in 1990, URAC is the independent leader in advancing healthcare quality through leadership, accreditation, measurement and innovation. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in healthcare and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC uses evidence-based measures and develops standards through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of healthcare. For more information, visit urac.org.
Che Parker, MA
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