UPMC Health Plan


Matt Brock

Denise Hughes
UPMC Health Plan

NCQA Launches Pilot for New Program Health Equity Accreditation Plus

UPMC Health Plan has joined to advance health equity

Pittsburgh (Jan. 19, 2022) – The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) launched a pilot program to develop its Health Equity Accreditation Plus evaluation program—with the assistance of UPMC Health Plan and eight other leading health organizations from across the country. Health Equity Accreditation Plus helps health care organizations establish processes and cross-sector partnerships that identify and address social risk factors in their communities and the social needs of the people they serve.

Health Equity Accreditation Plus builds on NCQA’s recently launched Health Equity Accreditation program that sets a robust framework for improving health equity by helping organizations identify and close care gaps. Health Equity Accreditation Plus builds on these activities for organizations that are more advanced in their health equity procedures and data collection.

“As the nation’s leading health care performance measurement and quality organization, NCQA knows high quality care is equitable care,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA President. “Every person deserves the best quality treatment, no matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation or cultural background.”

“Engaging in this innovative pilot with NCQA is proof of UPMC Health Plan’s commitment to addressing health disparities across the communities we passionately serve, said Carrie Whitcher, UPMC Health Plan’s chief quality officer and vice president for Quality Performance.”

UPMC Health Plan and NCQA believes improving health equity requires engagement and partnerships across the health care industry, as well as with industry stakeholders such as employers, regulators, and community-based organizations.

Health Equity Accreditation Plus is a significant advance in NCQA’s health equity strategy. The pilot program is the first measurement or evaluation service in NCQA’s 31-year history to include health systems. The health systems and health plans that have volunteered time and resources to participate in the pilot are:

UPMC Health Plan will work with the other pilot participants to test the concepts and application of Health Equity Accreditation Plus. Feedback from UPMC Health Plan and other organizations will be used to further review, enhance, and streamline the Health Equity Accreditation Plus standards.

Health Equity Accreditation Plus will be available to health plans, health systems and other care organizations in spring 2022.


About NCQA

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make informed health care choices.

About UPMC Insurance Services

Serving more than 4 million members, UPMC Insurance Services is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. UPMC Insurance Services includes commercial products from UPMC Health Plan for groups as well as individuals. Commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners®. Government products include Medicare Advantage (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life Complete Care and UPMC Community HealthChoices); Medical Assistance (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit managed care behavioral health organizations, offers a full range of services to Commercial and Medical Assistance members. For more information, visit upmchealthplan.com.