Essentia Health is now the only health system in the country to earn Level 3 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) re-certification – the highest level of certification. This is Essentia’s third certification, awarded through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Re-certification occurs every three years.

This accreditation helps health care organizations demonstrate their ability to improve quality, reduce costs and coordinate patient care. It ensures that patients are at the center of decisions Essentia Health caregivers make and determines how services are provided.

As part of the Level 3 ACO accreditation, Essentia Health must monitor patient experience and up to 40 measures of clinical quality and cost, collect and report on these measures and show improvement or strong performance on these measures. Requirements include having the necessary infrastructure and leadership to move the system toward the triple aim of better health, lower costs and better patient experiences; providing access to needed providers; practicing patient-centered care; supporting care management activities; facilitating care coordination and transitions; making patients aware of rights and responsibilities; and reporting performance and quality improvement.

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