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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine Ranks in Top 6% of all insurers on U.S. News & World Report/National Committee for Quality Assurance Best Health Plans List

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is ranked 16th in the nation out of 250 health insurance plans, according to the current (Nov. 17) issue of U.S. News & World Report/NCQA America's Best Health Plans 2008. This recognition as one of the nation's best health plans is the result of outstanding overall performance in clinical care measures, member satisfaction and NCQA accreditation.

"We work hard to make sure our members have access to high quality medical care and programs designed to help them live healthier lives," said Dan Corcoran, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. "But we go beyond simply improving the lives of our members. Through partnerships and collaborations with other health care organizations, providers and community groups in Maine, we have developed and implemented programs that have a significant positive impact on the health of the communities we serve."

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Maine plan currently holds Excellent Accreditation for its HMO/POS plan and has earned Quality Plus Distinction in Care Management and Health Improvement.

Anthem scored in the 90th percentile (i.e., the top 10 percentile of health plans in the nation) in several key Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set *(HEDIS(R)) Effectiveness of Care measures, including: preventive screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer; diabetes care, cholesterol management, antidepressant medication management and access to care measures. Anthem works with its members to help improve their health through education, reminders and tools to manage their conditions such as a Heart Health Calendar and a Women's Health Reminder.
Anthem Health Plans in Connecticut and New Hampshire also made U.S. News &

World Report/NCQA's Top 20 commercial plans. "To be recognized in the top 6 percent of all health plans in the country is a testament to our associates and is something we take real pride in," said Corcoran.

"America's Best Health Plans is a practical tool that helps consumers make informed decisions when choosing a health plan," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "It lets consumers know which plans have demonstrated they can deliver the highest levels of care and service."

The Proof is in the Programs

Anthem Maine's Quality Hospital Improvement Program -- QHIP -- works to improve the quality of hospital care our members receive. Hospitals are rewarded for instituting programs and adopting technologies that result in better patient outcomes, reduced errors and higher member satisfaction. This voluntary program currently has sixteen Maine hospitals participating. Anthem Maine's Primary Care Pay for Performance Program encourages providers to improve the quality of care our members receive. Using a framework similar to the QHIP program, providers are rewarded for implementing illness registries for members with chronic disease and for installing electronic medical records in their offices. Approximately 97% of Maine's Primary Care Providers are participating in this program

About the National Committee for Quality Assurance

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. NCQA provides health care quality information free of charge through the Web and the media in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices. More information can be found at .

Founded in 1933, the weekly news magazine, U.S. News & World Report, is devoted to investigative journalism and reporting and to analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology and social trends. Through its annual rankings of America's Best Colleges, America's Best Graduate Schools and America's Best Hospitals, and its News You Can Use Brand, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. Available online at , U.S. News, for the second time in a row, was named the most credible newsweekly by the Pew Biennial News Consumption Survey and the most credible news organization in print. "America's Best Health Plans" is a trademark of U.S. News & World Report.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is available at .

*HEDIS is a registered trademark of NCQA.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine
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