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URAC Launches First-of-its-Kind Accreditation for Community Health Worker Programs

URAC, the nation’s most comprehensive independent health care accreditation organization, announced a new Community Health Worker (CHW) Program Accreditation to help organizations implement and maintain community health worker programs that improve patient outcomes and drive down health care costs.

As health care becomes increasingly localized, community health workers play a crucial role in addressing social determinants of health and delivering cost-effective care. As a result, the CHW career field is flourishing — employment is expected to grow by 14% by 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is significantly higher than average growth across all fields. By providing tools and validation for CHW programs working to improve outcomes, advance health equity and reduce costs, URAC’s new accreditation bolsters organizations’ ability to meet diverse community needs.

The accreditation evaluates organizations rather than individuals and includes rigorous standards across 10 key areas, including client and employee diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); workforce development; learning and development; scope of practice and peer support and quality management. The accreditation aligns with recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce initiatives to build accessible pathways to health care careers without requiring advanced degrees.

“This accreditation reflects our commitment to supporting community health workers and the organizations they serve,” said Shawn Griffin, MD, President and CEO of URAC. “By embedding DEI and social determinants of health into the core of our standards, we are ensuring that community health worker programs can better meet the needs of both caregivers and patients.”

A multi-stakeholder advisory committee informed this accreditation, with representatives from Federally Qualified Health Centers, community-based organizations, nonprofits, educational institutions and payers. Committee members collaborated to develop robust, relevant standards reflecting the various challenges that CHW programs face across the country.

For more information about URAC’s Community Health Worker Program Accreditation, please visit urac.org/accreditation-cert/community-health-worker-program/.