Two health care accreditation organizations join forces

URAC announced Jan. 6 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the programs of ClearHealth Quality Institute (CHQI), a health care accreditation organization based in Annapolis, Maryland.

“This is the union of two of the country’s leading accrediting bodies,” URAC’s President and CEO Shawn Griffin, MD, said in a news release.

“The combined expertise between the two will allow for an unprecedented depth and breadth of accreditation knowledge that will serve to improve health outcomes across an even broader spectrum,” Griffin said.

Washington, D.C.-based URAC was founded in 1990 and is a nonprofit organization that uses evidence-based measures and develops standards through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care, the company said.

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Three of CHQI’s accreditation programs will now exist within URAC.

“For 30 years, URAC has been committed to promoting national best practices that advance high-quality care for patients,” Griffin said. “The acquisition of CHQI’s programs expands URAC’s portfolio of accreditation programs to address two areas that are critical to the future of America’s delivery system: the use of technology and access to behavioral health services.”

Telehealth services can help improve the provider shortages we see in both rural and urban environments; payers and employers can use telehealth provider accreditation to supply assurance for quality, safety, and privacy – all of which are necessary for a successful telehealth program, the company said.

By recognizing that access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment is just as important as medical treatment, parity promotes access to needed behavioral health care.

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The announcement said URAC’s parity compliance guide, compliance software tool and accreditation will ease confusion, serve as a roadmap for health plan compliance and validate the activity of insurers.

ClearHealth Quality Institute’s Telemedicine Accreditation Program and Mental Health Parity/Substance Use Disorder Accreditation Program collectively accredit the nation’s leading health plans, health systems, and telemedicine organizations, the news release said.

– FWBP Staff