YORK– WellSpan Health is one of just three health systems across the country, and the first in Pennsylvania, to receive the Health Equity Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA awards the accreditation to organizations that are leaders in addressing health equity, analyzing clinical performance and consumer experience through a comprehensive framework.
“WellSpan Health is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive culture where fairness and equity is a top priority. We are extremely proud to have achieved the prestigious NCQA Health Equity Accreditation, which symbolizes our unwavering dedication to this crucial endeavor,” said Kim Brister, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at WellSpan Health. “The prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities continues to be a barrier to receiving quality health care for too many Americans. I am proud of the work being done here at WellSpan to address those issues, and we are fully committed to continuing that work moving forward.”
NCQA’s Health Equity Accreditation evaluates how well an organization complies with standards in the following areas:
- organizational readiness
- gender identify and sexual orientation
- access and availability of language services
- practitioner network cultural responsiveness
- culturally and linguistically appropriate services programs
- reducing health care disparities
WellSpan’s efforts to improve breast cancer screening rates for Black and Hispanic women, address maternal morbidity, and organize data by race, ethnicity and language to help identify disparities all contributed to the organization meeting all of the standards evaluated in order to receive this accreditation.
“We have been working toward this accreditation since early last year, and we are thrilled to have met NCQA’s rigorous requirements for health equity,” said Dr. Mike Seim, senior vice president and chief quality officer, WellSpan Health. “This nationally recognized accreditation is validation that we are on the right track, and the entire health system will continue to work hard toward addressing and eliminating barriers to health care for the people of South Central Pennsylvania.”
“Earning Health Equity Accreditation shows that an organization is making a breakthrough in providing excellent health care to diverse populations. I congratulate any organization that achieves this level of distinction,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is essential to improving the quality of care overall.”
The accreditation is awarded as a three-year term, effective through 2026.