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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida NCQA/U.S. News & World Report Ranking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to raise awareness about health plan quality, the Oct. 26, 2007 edition of U.S. News & World Report will feature a cover story entitled "America's Best Health Plans 2007." The story features a ranking of the nations' top 50 commercial health plans, as well as the top 25 list of the nations' best Medicare and Medicaid plans. All the rankings are based upon data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida's (BCBSF) HMO product Health Option, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BCBSF, ranked 140th among all commercial plans and 64th among the HMO Medicare plans.

Earlier this year, NCQA awarded the status of Excellent to the BCBSF Commercial HMO plan. "Excellent," NCQA's highest accreditation status, is awarded to plans that meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement.

"Although we have maintained Excellent accreditation from NCQA for our commercial plan, we realize the importance of maintaining our positive measures, and are working to identify ways to improve our scores in various categories," said F. Miguel Fernandez, DO, MHS, FACOOG, senior medical director, health care programs, BCBSF.

The rankings in "America's Best Health Plans 2007" are based on three sets of scores. The first determines how well a company meets NCQA's standards for administering its clinical and administrative systems in areas such as quality improvement, consumer protection and service.

The second element is the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(R)). This is a tool used by over 90 percent of America's health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service. HEDIS makes it possible to compare the performance of one plan to another. BCBSF also used HEDIS to help determine how well improvement efforts are doing and where extra focus is needed.

The third element, also part of HEDIS, is the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS(R)) survey, which measures members' satisfaction with their care in areas such as customer service, claims processing, and getting care quickly.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is a leader in Florida's health industry. BCBSF and its subsidiaries serve more than 8.8 million people. Since 1944, the company has been dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of all those it serves by offering an array of choices. BCBSF is a not-for-profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., BCBSF is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information concerning BCBSF, please see its Web site at

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
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