WASHINGTON, DC—URAC, an independent accreditation organization advancing quality and value throughout health care, has announced a call for public comment on its new Accountable Care Accreditation Standards and Measures.

In a statement, URAC said that its new program “is a roadmap for health providers to achieve clinical integration and accountable care. By earning URAC accreditation, providers demonstrate they are delivering improved patient care and reducing costs.”

Public comments are due no later than May 17, 2013, the statement noted.

URAC cited several factors that led to the development of the new accreditation standards. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act, insurers, employers, consumers, and the federal government “are all demanding greater quality and value for every health care dollar spent,” the group noted. “This groundswell is driving sweeping changes in how health care is organized, integrated, coordinated, incentivized, and reimbursed.”

An advisory committee of industry experts designed the Accountable Care Accreditation standards, which are targeted to organizations that are “prepared to assume greater risk and manage their patient populations, which requires a more technologically and programmatically robust organization,” URAC noted.

In addition to the standards, URAC said it is proposing to include measures with the Accountable Care Accreditation that align with Medicare’s Shared Savings Program. “Organizations achieving this accreditation are better prepared to assume the role of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).”

URAC added that is accreditation programs “provide a flexible, educational approach for provider organizations as they move along the continuum from coordinated to integrated care. This accreditation can help prepare a provider organization to participate and prosper under new performance-based reimbursement programs and will aid an organization in demonstrating its ability to manage its patient populations.”

Public comments are due no later than May 17, 2013. For more information, contact URAC’s Senior Director of Standards Development, Donna Merrick, at 202.216.9010 or dmerrick@urac.org.