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TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

TARCOG Again Earns National Accreditation

The TARCOG Accreditation Team included from left, From left to right LeQuitta Gaskin, Kristina Chappell, Kanisha Caldwell, Stacey Peoples, Sheila Dessau-Ivey, Rosa Sanchez, Davitta Phillips, and Melissa Brinkley. Not pictured are Stephanie Holt and Allison Calvert.

TARCOG has received the highest possible rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in earning accreditation for its Area Agency on Aging programs.

NCQA awards the status of “Accredited – 3 Years” to organizations that demonstrate strong performance of the functions outlined in the standards for Accreditation of Case Management for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). According to NCQA, the review process evaluates organizations based on industry-leading best practices. Organizations that earn an NCQA seal have met or exceeded these standards and show they are a good partner to support delivering high quality care.

“This is not an easy process, and we are so proud to be recognized for our use of best practices and the high level of care that we provide to nearly 900 clients who utilize our services in DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties,” said TARCOG’s Director of Aging Programs Sheila Dessau-Ivey. This is the third time TARCOG has received the accreditation seal.

Sheila says Alabama was the first state in which every Area Agency on Aging earned the prestigious certification.  According to data on the NCQA website, TARCOG is one of 80 providers across the United States to currently hold the 3-Year Accreditation Seal.

“We have a great team of case workers and their supervisors who truly care about the people they work with and following our established protocols to provide the best possible care, as well as identifying areas of potential improvement,” Sheila said. “We are always striving to do better so we can provide the very best service possible.”

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations.

Earning NCQA’s Accreditation of Case Management for LTSS is a voluntary review process that demonstrates that an organization is dedicated to coordinating the delivery of care in a person-centered and integrated manner to help individuals function optimally in their preferred setting.

Michelle Jordan, TARCOG’s executive director said she is proud of the staff for earning the national recognition, “and I’m excited about the future of our Area Agency on Aging programs as they continue to provide a high level or services.”

NCQA Accreditation standards are developed with input from researchers in the field, the LTSS Advisory Committee and standing committees, both purchasers and operators of LTSS programs, state and federal regulators and other experts.

Sheila said the accreditation program evaluates organizations that plan and manage personalized care and services for people having trouble completing self-care tasks because of aging, chronic illness or disability.

Standards for evaluation include:

Program Description. The organization uses up-to-date evidence-based information to develop its case management program, and regularly updates the program with relevant findings and information.

Patient Identification and Assessment. The organization systematically assesses the population it serves and has a process for conducting comprehensive assessments.

Person-Centered Care Planning and Monitoring. The organization has a process to provide for developing individualized care plans that incorporate personal preferences, prioritized goals and self-management plans and monitor progress against those plans.

Care Transitions. The organization has a process for managing transitions, identifying problems that could cause unplanned care transitions and, when possible, preventing unplanned transitions.

Measurement and Quality Improvement. The organization measures and works to improve participant experience, program effectiveness and active participation rates.

Staffing, Training and Verification. The organization defines staffing needs, verifies staff credentials, when applicable, and provides ongoing staff training and oversight.

Rights and Responsibilities. The organization communicates the rights and responsibilities of participants in a case management program.

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’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. In recognition for its leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion, NCQA has won the Excellence in Diversity Award from the Chesapeake Human Resources Association. NCQA’s website ( contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more-informed health care choices. NCQA can be found online at, on Twitter @ncqa, and on LinkedIn at