New NCQA Data Validation Program Approves First Data Streams, Data Partners

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced the successful conclusion of its first Data Aggregator Validation cohort and the validation of 10 clinical data streams and certification of 2 data partners. The Data Aggregator Validation program evaluates clinical data streams to help ensure that health plans, providers, government organizations and others can trust the accuracy of clinical data for use in quality reporting, value-based contracting, closing care gaps and other important clinical decisions. Data validated during Cohort 1 comes from more than 2,300 ingestion sites representing tens of millions of patients.  
The NCQA Data Aggregator Validation program expands the industry’s trusted Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) standards to prospectively validate the quality and fitness of clinical data streams for quality measurement and other uses. Data Aggregator Validation is a vital early step in realizing NCQA’s vision of a digital measurement ecosystem where trusted data flow freely between organizations to improve patient outcomes and drive success in value-based contracts.
“Most discussions of interoperability focus on technical challenges, like formats for data exchange,” said NCQA Chief Product Officer Brad Ryan. “Data Aggregator Validation is about something bigger: Ensuring people across organizations can trust the data that drive high-quality care and value-based reimbursements.”  
The Data Aggregator Validation program ensures that data streams adhere to NCQA process standards and accuracy from source to transmission. The validation process traces data as it flows from physician offices and other ingestion sites into electronic health records, examining documentation practices, data capture, data integrity checks, data mapping and resiliency of workflows. The Data Aggregator Validation program also checks how data are managed, with a focus on security, effective governance, change management protocols and the subtle but important practices that can ensure or undermine data quality. Finally, the assessment evaluates the continuity of care document (CCD) for conformity with the NCQA CCD Implementation Guide and checks to confirm the data in the CCD matches primary source data.
Beyond its role in advancing the digital landscape, solving the trust conundrum and unlocking the value of health data, the Data Aggregator Validation program improves the efficiency of HEDIS reporting. No primary source verification is required for HEDIS reporting when health plans use data validated through the Data Aggregator Validation program. This saves health plans and provider organizations time and money.
As part of today’s announcement, NCQA also revealed the 12 organizations that validated data streams or earned Certified Data Partner status. The organizations are all part of the first program cohort, which began validation review in July.
NCQA previously announced that it had validated data streams belonging to Hixny, HealtheConnections, HEALTHeLINK and Manifest MedEx as part of its pilot and early adopter programs.
A cohort of additional organizations began the Data Aggregator Validation process in October as part of Cohort 2 and are expected to complete it in spring 2022. Cohort 3 of the Data Aggregator Validation program begins in February. NCQA plans to evaluate cohorts X times per year, going forward.
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. NCQA can also be found at Twitter @ncqa, on Facebook at facebook.com/NCQA.org and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.
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Source: NCQA