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Keystone First Recognized by NCQA for Multicultural Health Care Excellence

The health plan has received the distinction every year it has been offered

Keystone First, a Blue Cross Medical Assistance (Medicaid) product and the largest Medical Assistance managed care product in southeastern Pennsylvania, announced that it has earned Multicultural Health Care Distinction from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for the fourth time.

Keystone First offers the following services, among others, to serve the diverse needs of its membership:

  • Online cultural competency training for network providers.
  • Targeted outreach to Spanish-speaking members for participation in the health plan’s Health Education Advisory Committee (HEAC).
  • On-site interpreters to assist members in the community.
  • Communications to members in their preferred language.

“This award speaks to Keystone First’s unrelenting pursuit of health equity and improved health outcomes for all its members in southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Keystone First Market President Joanne McFall. “With the help of our community health navigators, and care management teams, we work tirelessly to help ensure the needs of our diverse membership are met.”

An award-winning health plan, Keystone First was recognized by NCQA as an early adopter of its Multicultural Health Care Distinction in 2010. The following year, it became one of the first seven health plans in the United States to formally receive the distinction, awarded for the delivery of culturally appropriate care and quality improvement interventions in serving diverse populations. The distinction has since been renewed three times, which means Keystone First has received the distinction every year since its inception.

NCQA awards distinction to organizations that meet or exceed its rigorous requirements for multicultural health care. The Multicultural Health Care program evaluates how well an organization complies with standards for the following areas:

  • Collection of race, ethnicity and language data.
  • Provision of language assistance.
  • Cultural responsiveness.
  • Quality improvement of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  • Reduction of health care disparities.

"Earning Multicultural Health Care Distinction four consecutive times shows that Keystone First is making breakthroughs in providing excellent health care to diverse populations. I congratulate any organization that achieves this level of distinction," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care is essential to improving the quality of care overall."

NCQA’s Multicultural Health Care Distinction Report Card lists health care entities holding Multicultural Health Care Distinction.

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 is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

About Keystone First
Keystone First is a Blue Cross Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health product offered by Vista Health Plan, Inc., an affiliate of Independence Blue Cross, in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties. Here at Keystone First, we are mission-driven and dedicated to helping members get care, stay well, and build healthy communities.

Independence Blue Cross and Vista Health Plan, Inc., are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.