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Beta Testing Opportunity for URAC Clinically Integrated Network Accreditation Program

(PRWEB) December 19, 2012

URAC, a leading independent, health care accreditation and measurement organization, is pleased to announce a limited number of opportunities are available for provider organizations to beta test its new Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) accreditation standards. The draft CIN standards are available for public comment through December 28, 2012:

The drive for accountability in health care has never been greater, which is why URAC is offering a clear pathway that providers can follow to become a CIN. The benefits of forming a CIN can be substantial. Care is seamlessly coordinated and patient medical information flows freely, while care referrals and required follow-ups are closely tracked. Dedicated care coordination and provider integration are the essential backbone of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). By forming a CIN, providers coalesce around the needs of each patient, delivering care based on a common set of clinical best practices. URAC’s draft standards have been carefully designed to align with Federal Trade Commission regulations.

“Our experience partnering with beta organizations has always been a productive undertaking for all concerned,” said Alan P. Spielman, URAC President and CEO. “Our betas give us the insight and guidance needed to generate a final accreditation product that is truly responsive to industry and customer needs. In addition, participating organizations gain a leg up on the competition by serving as early adopters, and are that much closer to achieving full URAC CIN accreditation.”

The first organizations to participate in the CIN beta test include Catholic Medical Partners, IPA; Essen Medical Associates, P.C.; and St. Vincent’s Health Partners.

“Over the past six years, Catholic Medical Partners has developed a comprehensive clinical integration that is foundational to a high performing health system. Our implementation of clinical registries, office-based care coordination and our commitment to accelerating the adoption and use of health information technology are critical components to succeeding in a population health business model,” said Michael Edbauer, DO, Chief Medical Officer, Catholic Medical Partners. “As we continue to see dramatic shifts in the world of healthcare, the organizations that will be best positioned to realize standards in clinical quality and succeed in the population health business model are those organizations who can demonstrate an ability to coordinate care effectively and efficiently across providers, facilities and care settings. These principles are central to the URAC program.”

“We are delighted to be included among the practices that are beta testing URAC’s Clinically Integrated Network accreditation standards,” said Dr. Sumir Sahgal, Medical Director, Essen Medical Associates, P.C. & EssenMED House Calls, PLLC. “Essen Medical Associates, P.C. has long been committed to implementing standards to improve patient care, community health and reduce overall health care costs. We constantly strive to implement strategies that facilitate safer, better coordinated and patient-centered care for our patients - participating in Clinically Integrated Network accreditation will allow us to continuously review and improve upon quality metrics that meet nationally endorsed standards in integrated care delivery.”

“As a response to health reform and new models of reimbursement, St. Vincent’s Health Partners is using the [draft] URAC standards as a guide to help move the organization to full clinical integration,” said Thomas A. Raskauskas, M.D., St. Vincent's Health Partners, Inc. CEO and President. “Unlike traditional physician-hospital relationships, which are often inefficient and can result in fragmented patient care, SVHP plans to align physician and hospital efforts through active coordination of care and data sharing. Patients will benefit greatly from SVHP, receiving better healthcare across the entire continuum of care.”

Organizational Eligibility
URAC is looking for various types of provider joint ventures to participate in the beta testing, including single- and multi-specialty physician practices, specialty provider networks (e.g. chiropractic, vision, or physical medicine), independent practice associations, or physician-hospital organizations. These entities will have the opportunity to ensure that the standards and process provide value to provider organizations.

Space is limited, and spots are filling quickly. Interested participants should contact URAC’s Beta Testing Project Advisor Lucia Rosenberg at or call (267) 804-4784 before December 31, 2012. The Beta Test phase will occur in January and February of 2013, with URAC expecting to release its final CIN accreditation standards in the Spring of 2013.

About URAC
URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement 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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