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Highmark Medicare Services Achieves Certification to COPC-2000(R) CSP Standard
Date:5/5/2008

Highmark's Camp Hill Customer Contact Center becomes the first Medicare

contractor to receive certification

CAMP HILL, Pa., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Customer Operations Performance Center Inc. (COPC Inc.) recently announced that Highmark Medicare Services has achieved certification for their Camp Hill Customer Contact Center and they will continue to align their current Provider Contact Center operations with the COPC Customer Service Provider Performance Management System (COPC-2000(R) CSP Standard).

Highmark Medicare Services is the first Medicare contractor in the country to achieve certification, and the Camp Hill location, which processes well over one million inquiries annually and services over 56,000 Medicare providers, received a perfect score in their assessment.

"The certification process is extensive. It touches on everything we do in the Contact Center including corporate support processes such as Systems Support, Human Resources and Telecommunications," said Patrick Kiley, president of Highmark Medicare Services. "We pursued the standard for several, equally important reasons: to increase customer satisfaction through improved service and quality; to reduce the cost of providing excellent service; and to align our Contact Center with future customer requirements - all designed to position Highmark Medicare Services for Medicare fee-for-service business opportunities."

Highmark Medicare Services administers the Medicare Fee-for-Service Part A business for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and the Part B business for Pennsylvania. In October 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Highmark Medicare Services was awarded the Jurisdiction 12 (J12) Medicare contract to provide the Medicare Fee-for- Service Part A and Part B administrative services for the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and the District of Columbia metropolitan area. The award is part of a Congressional requirement to replace all current Medicare Part A and B contracts with new contract entities called Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). As a MAC, Highmark Medicare Services will serve as a single point-of-contact entity processing Medicare Part A and B claims from hospitals and other institutional providers, physicians, and other practitioners within the J12 region.

The COPC-2000(R) CSP Standard is the first and only certification process designed specifically for the needs of contact centers. It was developed in 1995 by individuals from customer-focused companies concerned with the level of service quality provided by Customer Service Providers (CSPs). As a world- class benchmark of productivity and efficiency for customer contact operations, it is used in several hundred locations in more than 50 countries to improve performance, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

"The COPC CSP Performance Management System is the only one of its kind for Customer Service Providers. It includes standards for four key areas: Leadership and Planning, Processes, People and Performance. Highmark's commitment to achieving the COPC(R) 2000 CSP Standard demonstrates their long- term dedication to excellence, as well as their continuous effort and expertise in driving best-in-class results over time," said Alton Martin, CEO, COPC Inc. He continued: "Implementation of the COPC(R) Performance Management System has allowed the operation of the Highmark contact center to be more efficient and systematic, thereby, earning the increased trust and confidence of their customers. It also will affirm their commitment to provide efficient, quality service to customers, delivering an increased level of satisfaction to the service experience of Highmark customers."

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Medicare Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. is a major force for Pennsylvania's economy. According to a Tripp Umbach study, Highmark has a $2.5 billion impact on the economy and that includes about 11,000 employees of Highmark in Pennsylvania. Overall, Highmark and its subsidiaries have 18,500 employees.

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.6 million people through the company's health care benefits business. Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health care programs affordable and to support community-based programs that work to improve people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. The company provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

About COPC Inc.

Customer Operations Performance Center Inc. is the world's leading authority on service-chain operations management, including performance improvement for buyers and providers of customer service, customer contact center and business process outsourcing operations. Since 1996, COPC Inc. has helped more than 1,000 organizations in 50 countries improve customer service by using the COPC(R) Family of Standards, the industry's first and most comprehensive set of performance management operating models for customer service operations. Today, it remains the only performance-driven and industry-governed global best practices model that simultaneously increases both customer satisfaction and profitability. For further information, please visit http://www.copc.com.


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SOURCE Highmark Medicare Services
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