URAC Works on ‘Reliable’ Health Web Site Accreditation Standards
To help consumers assess the "reliability" of health care information posted on the Internet, the URAC, formerly known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, is developing an "accreditation program" for health Web sites, the Bergen Record reports. While other organizations, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, have developed their own "code of ethics" for health Web sites, many of the standards are voluntary, differ from organization to organization and lack certification and enforcement mechanisms. According to a recent California HealthCare Foundation report, several health Web sites were not complying with their own privacy policies. The URAC initiative would create an accredited seal that would be granted to health Web sites that meet certain privacy and reliability standards. URAC President and CEO Garry Carneal said, "A lot of ethical standards have been developed, and URAC is trying to convert ethical standards into an accreditation program. It will serve as the gold seal that people are actually walking the walk, and not just talking the talk." The accreditation plan is expected to be reviewed by URAC's board of directors for approval by July (Chin, Bergen Record, 1/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.