California and US flags Starting in less than two years, if hospitals haven't met targets for safety and quality, they'll risk being excluded from the "in-network" designation of health plans sold on the state's insurance exchange. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, has devised what could be a powerful new way to hold hospitals accountable for the quality of their care. Starting in less than two years, if the hospitals haven't met targets for safety and quality, they'll risk being excluded from the "in-network" designation of health plans sold on the state's insurance exchange.

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