The Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance has been awarded a three-year accreditation as a Level 2 accountable care organization, the first to be awarded the recognition in North Texas and the second in the state.
The nonprofit National Committee for Quality Assurance, which is considered to be the top healthcare accreditation service in the country, evaluates the programs. The ACOs are judged by the availability and access to care; patient rights and responsibilities; the program’s focus on patient-centered primary care; care coordination; performance reporting and data management; and general program operations.
There are three levels that an ACO can reach: the first identifies programs that are in the formative stages, but “have not yet reached full ACO capability.” These have the infrastructure in place, but are just getting started. The certification lasts two years. The second level, which the BSWQA achieved, means that the programs “demonstrate a broad range of ACO capabilities.” The third is for programs that have demonstrated “significant improvement” in population health.
“”We wish to acknowledge BSWQA’s quality improvement efforts, which were evident throughout the survey process, writes Sheron Smith, the NCQ’s director of operations for recognition programs. She added that Baylor “has worked to identify improvements in quality and efficiency, positioning BSWQA among top U.S. ACOs that are driving a better care delivery system of the future.”
The only other ACO to earn the level is the Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s, which earned the first such recognition in the country in 2012.