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URAC Announces Support for Principles of Disclosure Project's Patient Charter
Date:4/1/2008

Accreditation organization revising standards to include review of physician quality measurement programs to enhance transparency

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, one of the nation's leading independent accrediting organizations, announced today its support for the general principles put forward by the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project in its Patient Charter for Physician Performance, Measurement and Tiering Programs. The Patient Charter is supported by leading consumer, labor and employer groups and aligns with URAC's work over the past four years to enhance consumer education, safety and empowerment through its accreditation programs.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO )

The support comes the same day URAC invites public comments for revisions to its Health Plan and Health Network accreditation programs. Among the revisions are specific standards applicable to those organizations that implement and publicly report on their physician quality measurement programs. URAC is interested in public feedback to its proposed standards that will support the principles described in the Patient Charter.

The Patient Charter calls for health plans to initiate independent assessment of physician quality and to inform consumers of performance results. Specifically, the Patient Charter calls for accrediting organizations such as URAC to "review the plan's programs for consumers that measure, report and tier physicians based on their performance." Measures used by health plans should be meaningful to consumers and should include quality measures across a number of clinical activities.

Beginning with URAC's groundbreaking Consumer Education and Support Accreditation standards introduced in 2005 and continuing through the latest revisions to its Accreditation Standards, URAC has increasingly raised
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