Physician and Hospital Quality Certification
NCQA’s Physician and Hospital Quality (PHQ) certification program evaluates how well organizations measure and report the quality and cost of physicians and hospitals. The PHQ seal represents an impartial third-party certification of provider measurement programs, and provides assurance that such efforts use valid, transparent methodologies, and measure on quality—not cost alone.
More than 60 health plans have achieved Distinction in Physician and Hospital Quality through the 2006 version of the program. In 2008, NCQA released a PHQ Certification program reflecting changes in the provider measurement field and demand from purchasers and regulators.
This program is open to any organization conducting functions evaluated by the standards, whether a health plan, a measurement collaborative, a provider network or an information provider such as a Web site.
Four key principles serve as the foundation of PHQ Certification:
- Standardization and sound methodology. This allows results to be compared across organizations.
- Transparency. Organizations should offer physicians the opportunity to provide input on measurement programs. Organizations should also provide clear, understandable information about how the results will be used.
- Collaboration. Where possible, organizations should pool their data on standardized
measures to produce results with greater statistical reliability.
- Action on quality and cost. Organizations should not sacrifice quality for cost reduction. Organizations must not use results of cost measurement alone.