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URAC Announces Finalists for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards

Award-winning programs will be featured in an educational setting at URAC's Best Practices Conference & Exhibit, April 1-2, 2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today URAC announced that a distinguished panel of judges has selected 23 finalists in its Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards competition. The competition drew entries from across the nation. The finalists will be honored during the 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference & Exhibit, April 1-2, 2009 in Orlando, Fla.


Award entries detailed innovative and proven programs from health information/decision support, health management, pharmacy quality management and workers' compensation companies as well as health plans and health networks. More than thirty of the nation's foremost thought leaders in health care management judged the entries based on scoring criteria established by URAC, a leading independent accrediting organization.

"The Best Practices Awards raise the visibility of these programs and recognize efforts to improve health and empower consumers, both critical in the eyes of employers who are seeking innovation and proven approaches in the marketplace," said Sue Willette, Best Practices judge and Mercer's national practice leader for health & productivity management. "Each applicant details their accomplishments and raises awareness of emerging or new Best Practices that can be replicated to help advance the industry."

URAC's Best Practices Awards were created to extend the organization's educational mission by shining a spotlight on proven best practices within the health care management industry. Finalists are invited to present their winning programs at URAC's 2009 Best Practices Conference & Exhibit and URAC educational events throughout the year. Presentations will showcase working best practices in two categories: consumer decision-making and consumer health improvement.

All finalists are invited to attend a black tie dinner event during the conference, at which time they will discover how they will be distinguished as award winners. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, as well as those receiving Honorable Mention awards, in each of the four organization categories, will be named at the dinner. Platinum award winners will also be announced in the two topic categories.

Finalists in URAC's Best Practices Awards competition are:

-- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, "Office-Based

Cardiovascular Stress Testing"

-- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, "The Positive Impact of Written

Asthma Action Plans"

-- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, "Cultural Excellence Training"

-- Centene Corporation, "CONNECTIONS PLUS"

-- Ceridian, "Health & Wellness Outreach and Engagement"

-- Children's Mercy Family Health Partners, "CMFHP Disease

Management Program"

-- CIGNA HealthCare, "Colorectal Cancer Screening Program"

-- Companion Benefit Alternatives, "Essential Solutions for Depression


-- Comprehensive NeuroScience, Eli Lilly and Company, and The State of

Arkansas Department of Human Services, "Arkansas Diabetes Disease

Management Program Phase 3"

-- CVS Caremark, "Drug Therapy Management"

-- Delaware Physicians Care, Incorporated, "DPCI Diabetes Text

Messaging Pilot Project"

-- Eliza Corporation and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States,

"Eliza Corporation"

-- Great Moves! and Children's Hospital Boston, "Great Moves!

Pediatric Weight Management Center"

-- HealthPartners, "Improving Employee Health through Behavior


-- New Directions Behavioral Health, "Paradigm for the Telephonic

Assessment of Suicide"

-- OptumHealth, "OptumHealth Treatment Decision Support"

-- Prescription Solutions, "Drug Interaction Alert Program"

-- Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., "LifeStyle Management Program


-- SNAPforSeniors, "SNAPforSeniors Senior Housing Locator"

-- TriWest Healthcare Alliance, "Help from Home: Behavioral Health


-- Vital Decisions, "Informed Patient Decisionmaking During End of


-- WebMD LLC, "WebMD Health Check"

-- WorldDoc, Inc., "Automated Alerts for Cost-Effective Drug


"The Best Practices Awards and Conference provide a unique opportunity for leaders in health care management to learn what premier companies are doing to advance consumer protection and empowerment," said Alan Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "It is a one-of-a kind conference, designed to inspire the industry as a whole to rapidly adopt proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers with improved decision-making tools."

For complete conference details and to register for URAC's Best Conference & Exhibit, go to To see a complete list of judges, go to

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and certification programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit

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