Network services are delivered to a defined population through an integrated network of providers with the goal of ensuring optimal access, quality of care, and consumer satisfaction.
COA's Network Administration standards apply to organizations that coordinate or oversee the provision of social and human services to specific populations, referred to throughout as the Lead Management Entity (LME). The types of network organizations that COA accredits include:
Separately incorporated entities that coordinate and manage care on behalf of a group of cooperating organizations;
Designated lead agencies or management entities; and
Groups of providers organized to integrate and coordinate services.
Network services are typically provided by contracted service providers, with the LME managing services via contract oversight and utilization management. Most of COA's accredited network LMEs have contracts with a state agency, such as a state's child and family services agency, to provide such oversight, and the network LME itself is responsible to the state agency for ensuring quality services and outcomes.
When COA accredits a network LME it is reviewing both the organization’s internal operations and functioning, as well as it’s management of the network as a whole and oversight of the services that are being provided by the contracted organizations.
Many of the network LMEs that COA accredits also provide direct services to persons and families receiving network services and these will be assigned applicable service standards.
Note:COA only accredits the LME. Contracted service providers are not included in COA's network accreditation process and will not be visited during the LME's site visit.
Note:Core administrative practices related to the administration and management of networks are not limited to the Network Administration standards, but are also reflected in each of the Administration and Management and Service Delivery Administration standards sections for Private organizations.