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U.S.News & World Report, NCQA Release Annual Rankings for 'America's Best Health Plans'
Date:10/26/2007

USNews.com visitors can search, sort, and compare more than 500 health

plans on quality of care, service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S.News & World Report and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today unveiled the third edition of America's Best Health Plans, an annual ranking of U.S. health maintenance organizations and point-of-service plans. Coinciding with the November launch of "open season," when many families face health plan selection options, the rankings will be published in the November 5 issue of U.S. News, on newsstands as of Monday, October 29 and online beginning Friday, October 26, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time.

The 2007 online edition of America's Best Health Plans includes data and information on nearly 550 commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid health plans, as well as identifying 150 plans that chose to report no data. The rankings are based on more than 100 aspects of clinical performance, such as a plan's ability to help diabetic members meet a blood pressure target number, and customer satisfaction, such as how satisfied members are with specialists they see.

"America's Best Health Plans is a practical tool that helps consumers make informed decisions when choosing a health plan," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "It lets consumers know which plans have demonstrated they can deliver the highest levels of care and service."

Avery Comarow, a U.S. News senior writer and the editor of America's Best Health Plans said, "It's hard to be a health consumer these days. While there is no shortage of information, not all of it is clear and trustworthy. The health plan rankings are one of many ways U.S. News tries to give consumers data that is accurate, easy to understand, and relevant to their and their families' health."

Below are highlights of the 2007 rankings:

Top 10 Commercial Plans Top 5 Medicare Plans

1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 1. Fallon Community Health Plan

(HMO/POS*), Maine, Mass. (HMO), Mass.

2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance 2. Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Organization (HMO/POS), Mass., of Massachusetts (HMO)

N.H., R.I. 3. Tufts Associated Health

3. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of Maintenance Organization

New England (HMO/POS), N.H. (HMO), Mass.

4. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of 4. Preferred Care (HMO), N.Y.

Massachusetts (HMO/POS) 5. Kaiser Foundation Health

5. ConnectiCare (HMO/POS), Conn. Plan of the Northwest (HMO),

6. Health Net of Connecticut (HMO/POS) Ore., Wash.

7. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield,

Rochester Region (HMO/POS), N.Y. Top 5 Medicaid Plans

8. Group Health Cooperative of South 1. Fallon Community Health Plan

Central Wisconsin (HMO) (HMO), Mass.

9. Health New England (HMO/POS), 2. Neighborhood Health Plan

Conn., Mass. Rhode Island (HMO)

10. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield - 3. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of

of Connecticut (HMO/POS) Rhode Island (POS)

4. Capital District Physicians'

*HMO, health maintenance organization; Health Plan (HMO), N.Y.

POS, point-of-service plan 5. Excellus BlueCross

BlueShield, Rochester Region

(HMO), N.Y.

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. NCQA's Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.

About U.S.News & World Report

Founded in 1933, the weekly national news magazine U.S.News & World Report is devoted to investigative journalism and reporting and to analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology, and social trends. Through its annual rankings of America's Best Colleges, America's Best Graduate Schools, America's Best Hospitals, America's Best Children's Hospitals, America's Best Health Plans, and America's Best Leaders, as well as its News You Can Use(R) brand, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. Available online at http://www.usnews.com, the U.S. News website extends that brand promise and delivers the best, most accurate information on the Web, organized in a way that is accessible and easy to use.


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SOURCE U.S.News & World Report
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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