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NCQA Awards L.A. Care Health Plan Its Highest Accreditation Status of Excellent
Date:8/21/2008

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- L.A. Care Health Plan announced today that it has been awarded an Accreditation status of "Excellent" from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent, non-profit organization that assesses and reports on the quality of the nation's managed care plans. L.A. Care's Accreditation status - the highest possible level - is based on a voluntary review of how a health plan ensures that its members are receiving high quality care.

"Achieving an accreditation status of Excellent is a significant achievement for a health plan," said Margaret E. O'Kane, president of NCQA. "It is only awarded to those plans that both meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and have HEDIS(R) results in the highest range of national performance."(1)

The NCQA Accreditation Survey process includes on and off-site evaluations of over 60 standards and selected HEDIS performance measures conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts. A committee of physicians analyzes the team's finding and assigns an accreditation level based on the performance level of the plan being evaluated in accordance with NCQA's standards.

"We are an organization committed to continuous quality improvement, and I believe that has been validated by NCQA," said Howard A. Kahn, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan. "Each of our employees, providers and management contributed to the NCQA Accreditation process in some way, so we are extremely proud of this achievement."

"This Accreditation tells our members that the care they receive and the physicians who provide that care meet or exceed the industry's highest standards of quality," said Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Medical Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan. "L.A. Care has a long and proud tradition of providing high-quality care. Receiving objective recognition of that is rewarding for all of us."

The NCQA Accreditation process evaluates how well a health plan manages quality throughout every part of its delivery system - physicians, hospitals, affiliated providers, and administrative services - to continuously improve health care for its members.

More than three-quarters of Americans enrolled in HMOs are in plans that have been reviewed by NCQA and many employers are now mandating accreditation of the plans they offer their employees. No comparable evaluation exists for fee-for-service health care.

L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of programs including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, L.A. Care's Healthy Kids, and L.A. Care's Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With nearly 800,000 members, L.A. Care is the nation's largest public health plan and has been awarded an Excellent Accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. For more information, please visit http://www.lacare.org.

(1) The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(R)) is a registered trademark of NCQA.


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SOURCE L.A. Care Health Plan
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