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URAC Releases Draft Standards for Public Input for Nine Health Care Management Accreditation Programs
Date:4/3/2008

Changes include proactive delivery of health care information to patients for disease management, case management programs

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today URAC called for public comment on revisions to standards across nine of its health care management accreditation programs. URAC is seeking input from any interested parties, including purchasers, policy makers, consumers, health care management organizations and health plans. The deadline for public comment is May 21, 2008.

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

URAC's Health Standards Committee reviewed and revised the standards now open for public comment. Among the changes were clarifications for the Independent Review Organization program relative to timelines and compliance with state and federal law. Key changes to the Case Management and Disease Management accreditation programs included standards for the proactive delivery of health care information to patients.

No changes were made for the remaining health care management accreditation standards except for assigning weights to each standard element as part of URAC's revised scoring methodology. The new scoring methodology is a refinement from earlier versions and is easier for accredited organizations to understand. These changes affect the following accreditation programs: Health Utilization Management, Workers' Compensation Utilization Management, Provider Credentialing, Credentials Verification Organization, Claims Processing, and Consumer Education and Support.

"Public comment is critical to the continuous quality improvement process used by the URAC Health Standards Committee in its review and updating of the accreditations standards," said Douglas Metz, chairman of the Health Standards Committee and chief health services officer for American Specialty Health. "The Committee carefully reviews every comment and takes them into consideration in the editing process."

The Health Plan and Health Network draft standards are available for review at http://www.urac.org/publiccomment/. URAC will only accept comments through this online comment form.

All comments submitted by the deadline will be considered prior to final changes to the standards. Revisions will be submitted to URAC's Board of Directors for final approval at the end of July, 2008, and applications will be accepted under the revised standards starting Jan. 1, 2009.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education 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 http://www.urac.org.


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