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Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Awarded NCQA's Accreditation Status of 'Excellent'
Date:9/1/2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire BlueCross BlueShield announced today that it has been awarded the accreditation status of "Excellent" for its HMO Commercial HMO/POS Combined and Medicare HMO products from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Empire's accreditation status - the highest possible level - is based on a voluntary review of how a health plan ensures that its members receive access to high quality care.

"NCQA's Excellent Accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation. It is only awarded to those plans that meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care," said Margaret E. O'Kane, president of NCQA. "It is partly a health plan's members that determine whether it earns NCQA's Excellent Accreditation status. Any plan that does so should be proud of its accomplishment. It is a sign that the plan's delivering great service and great care -- it's met the toughest test in managed care."

NCQA is an independent, non-profit organization that is dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, managed behavioral healthcare organizations, preferred provider organizations, new health plans, physician organizations, credentials verification organizations, disease management programs and other health-related programs.

The NCQA Health Plan Accreditation surveys include rigorous on-site and off-site evaluations of over 60 standards and selected HEDIS measures. A team of physicians and health plan experts conducts accreditation surveys. A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team's findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the performance level of each plan being evaluated to NCQA's standards.

"For the last 75 years, Empire has maintained a long and proud tradition of
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SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield
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