CHOP Accredited as Level 2 Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

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The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has announced that The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has earned accreditation as a Level 2 Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

An ACO is a provider-based entity that strives to improve the quality of healthcare and patient experience, while simultaneously reducing healthcare costs. ACOs can be group practice providers, networks of individual practices, hospitals, provider-health plan partnerships or publicly governed entities that work with providers to arrange care.

CHOP first earned Level 1 ACO accreditation in 2013, becoming the first and only children’s hospital in the country to earn accreditation and one of the first five organizations to be accredited nationally. After a rigorous reevaluation, the NCQA named CHOP a Level 2 ACO for exhibiting increased capabilities to meet the “triple aim” goals of reducing cost, improving quality and improving patient experience.

“Achieving Level 2 accreditation demonstrates CHOP’s ability to meet challenging requirements designed to show the efficiency, integration and high-quality care expected of an accountable care organization,” said Madeline Bell, CHOP president and chief operating officer. “CHOP chose to apply for ACO accreditation to show that it is able to meet all of these requirements, and to demonstrate that it will be transparent about its capabilities and performance. This prestigious recognition affirms the years of hard work that the institution has dedicated to building an infrastructure that supports quality improvements, accountability, patient-centered care and care coordination.”

Accreditation criteria

To receive accreditation, CHOP underwent a rigorous assessment that focused on the evaluation of 14 standards and 65 elements that include: ACO structure and operations, access to needed providers, patient-centered primary care, care management, care coordination and transitions, patient rights and responsibilities, and performance reporting and quality improvement. As part of accreditation, organizations are expected to monitor patient experiences and up to 40 measures of clinical quality and cost. Organizations must be able to collect and report these measures to reach Level 2 accreditation.

The NCQA ACO accreditation is voluntary and evaluates an organization’s ability to deliver coordinated, patient-centered care; to improve clinical quality; to enhance the patient experience; and to reduce costs through quality clinical practices. Designation as an accredited ACO helps purchasers and providers identify effective partners. It also helps patients find physicians who are committed to providing the quality care they need, when they need it.

This latest honor follows CHOP’s existing recognition of 30 of its primary care practices in NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Program. The patient-centered medical home model provides comprehensive, patient-centered care; increased access to health care providers and services; coordinated care across the broader healthcare system, including specialty care, hospitals, home care, and community services; and a demonstrated commitment to quality improvement. 

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing healthcare quality information for consumers, purchasers, healthcare providers and researchers.

About the NCQA ACO Program

The NCQA program contains many consumer protections and aligns with consumer protection principles outlined in the National Partnership for Women & Families’ Campaign for Better Care. ACOs are generally defined as provider-based entities that aim to improve the quality of healthcare and reduce cost growth for a group of people. In order to have enough patients for quality reporting and managing financial risk, ACOs must serve at leave 5,000 patients a year.

About The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents.

Contact: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,