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American Specialty Health and INSPIRIS Win Top Honors in URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards

Esteemed judges spotlight 22 winning programs for setting new benchmarks in

consumer-focused care

WASHINGTON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- URAC recognized two programs with Best Practices Awards at a ceremony Tuesday evening spotlighting the 22 award recipients of its first-ever Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards.

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American Specialty Health was named the Best Practices Award winner in consumer/patient safety for its program, "Reduction in Regional Variation of X-ray Utilization." Programs in this category are broadly related to patient or consumer safety issues such as safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable care. Outcomes for these programs are limited to health/clinical metrics.

INSPIRIS and Mercy Care Plan of Arizona won the Best Practices Award for "INSPIRIS CarePlus Nurse Practitioner-Led Care" in the integrated care coordination category. Programs in this category are designed to coordinate or manage the care of patients/consumers among different, often isolated, "agents" of care.

"Winning a Best Practices Award is an important signal to the marketplace, a mark of distinction that will resonate in the purchaser community and ultimately among consumers," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "This awards competition and conference recognize the programs that are blazing new trails in consumer protection and empowerment and can be used as models for innovation and quality throughout the health care management industry."

In all, URAC honored 22 winners for excellence among entries from health care management, health information technology, health plan and pharmacy benefit management organizations. Entries were judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts in three categories: consumer decision support, consumer/patient safety, and integrated care coordination. Programs were selected as winners for their ability to measurably demonstrate an impact on consumer empowerment and/or protection, as well as their potential for wide- spread implementation of the program by other organizations.

"URAC is breaking new ground with this first-ever competition that draws from organizations across the health care management spectrum," Spielman said. "These are effective, innovative practices that can be duplicated to the benefit of consumers and health care purchasers across the country."

Winners of URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards are:

Honorable Mention:

-- OptumHealth, "OptumHealth Treatment Decision Support Program"

-- Aetna, Inc., "Aetna's Health Care Transparency Initiative"

-- Sensei, Inc., a Humana Joint Venture, "Sensei for Weight Loss"

-- BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas City and Prime Solutions, Inc.,

"Adolescent Immunization Community Collaborative"

-- FONEMED and Centra Care, "Exposure Hotline of Centra Care and FONEMED"

-- Eli Lilly and Company, Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc. and the

Missouri Department of Mental Health, "Behavioral Pharmacy Management


-- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, "Blue Care Connection: Closing the

Gaps in the Obesity Epidemic"

-- Medco Health Solutions, "Improving Patient Safety for Diabetic


Winners in the Health Care Management Category:

-- Bronze Award, Paradigm Health, "Care Management Impact on Advance

Directive Completion"

-- Silver Award, INSPIRIS and Mercy Care Plan of Arizona, "INSPIRIS

CarePlus Nurse Practitioner-Led Care"

-- Gold Award, PsycHealth, Ltd., "Behavioral Health Home Intervention

Impact on Readmissions"

Winners in the Health Information Technology Category:

-- Bronze Award, ActiveHealth Management, "Helping Consumers Close Gaps in

Their Health Care"

-- Silver Award, Eli Lilly and Company, Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc.

and Missouri Department of Mental Health, "Behavioral Pharmacy

Management Program"

-- Gold Award, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "My HealtheVet"

Winners in the Health Plan Category:

-- Bronze Award, Martin's Point Health Care, "Post Hospital Discharge Call


-- Silver Award, Molina Healthcare of Washington and Washington State

Department of Social and Health Services, "The Washington Medicaid

Integration Partnership"

-- Gold Award, BlueCross Blue Shield of Kansas City and Prime Solutions,

Inc., "Adolescent Immunization Community Collaborative"

Winners in the Pharmacy Benefit Management Category:

-- Bronze Award, Express Scripts , "Express Scripts Generics Today"

-- Silver Award, Prescription Solutions, "Geriatric RxMonitor Program"

-- Gold Award, MemberHealth, LLC, "Improving ACE-I Utilization in Medicare

Part D"

Best Practices Awards:

-- American Specialty Health, "Reduction in Regional Variation of X-ray


-- INSPIRIS and Mercy Care Plan of Arizona, "INSPIRIS CarePlus Nurse

Practitioner-Led Care"

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

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