The National Committee for Quality Assurance has been tapped to help the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA) monitor plans that participate in Medicare+Choice.
NCQA has been granted so-called "deeming authority" for the M+C program.
Margaret O'Kane, NCQA president, says that this means that plans can satisfy many of their M+C requirements during an NCQA accreditation survey.
"It's a more efficient approach to oversight that will allow health plans to focus more energy on their core business," says O'Kane.
Under the contract, NCQA will review M+C plans in these categories: access to services, antidiscrimination, confidentiality and accuracy of enrollee records, information on advance directives, provider participation rules, and quality assurance.