NU Online News Service, June 4, 1:10 p.m. – Private Healthcare Systems Inc., Waltham, Mass., says it has received the first national certification for a preferred provider organization awarded by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Washington.

The Private Healthcare network represents 345,000 U.S. doctors and 3,000 U.S. hospitals.

NCQA is a nonprofit group that sets up accreditation and quality reporting programs for managed care companies.

NCQA is best known for accrediting health maintenance organizations. In recent years, it has been competing with the Joint Commission On Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., and URAC/American Accreditation Healthcare Commission, Washington, to develop quality programs for PPOs.