Meridian Health Plan Offers Incentives for Hospital Equity Certification

Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. (Meridian), a company that provides managed care services under government sponsorship to various segments of the population such as families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex medical needs, announced today that it will offer financial support to in-network hospitals in Illinois that complete The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity (HCE) Certification program.

The initiative aims to promote participation in the HCE Certification program among hospitals within Meridian’s network. By supporting this program, Meridian intends to assist hospitals in formalizing structures, processes, and objectives aimed at identifying and addressing healthcare disparities prevalent in the communities they serve. The reimbursement plan entails covering a percentage of the annual certification fee, with Safety Net and Critical Access hospitals receiving a 25% reimbursement and other hospitals receiving a 15% reimbursement.

Cristal Gary, President and CEO of Meridian Health Plan, expressed enthusiasm about being the first Medicaid health plan in the nation to utilize The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity Certification to further their mission of enhancing community health. Gary emphasized the collaborative effort to ensure that providers have the necessary resources and support to deliver equitable, high-quality healthcare while upholding dignity and respect for all individuals within their collective care.

The Health Care Equity Certification program by The Joint Commission, which was established on July 1, 2023, provides a comprehensive framework for hospitals to enhance their efforts in promoting health equity. Through assessment, monitoring, and a focus on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, hospitals can create a measurable impact on addressing healthcare disparities.

Jonathan B. Perlin, President and CEO of The Joint Commission enterprise, highlighted the significance of health care equity as not only a matter of social justice but also a critical aspect of patient safety and care quality. Perlin emphasized that the Health Care Equity Certification Program recognizes organizations prioritizing health care equity as a strategic imperative and collaborating with stakeholders to identify and address needs that contribute to better health outcomes in an equitable manner.

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