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Unique Program Means Better Care for Highmark Members
Date:12/3/2007

NCQA program targets those with chronic conditions

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing effort to ensure quality care for its members, Highmark Inc. is encouraging physicians to pursue National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) certification during a pilot program. Highmark's support of the physician recognition program certification is unique as Highmark is one of the few health insurers in the country offering a program of this kind to motivate physicians to earn the certification.

In a survey of participating physicians conducted by Highmark, 69 percent agreed that their patients had improved outcomes as a result of the program. Also, 95 percent said it was a worthwhile activity for their practice.

The program began in January with 538 physicians participating. Physicians could work toward one of three NCQA certifications. The three programs include:
-- Physician Practice Connections, which recognizes physician practices

that use enhanced management of information to improve the quality of

patient care;

-- Diabetes Physician Recognition Program, which recognizes physicians who

demonstrate they provide high-quality care to patients with diabetes;

-- Heart/Stroke Recognition Program, a program where physicians

demonstrate they provide high-quality care to patients with cardiac

conditions or who have had a stroke.

"These designations are important because they require physicians to demonstrate that they are following national quality guidelines for treating patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease," said Michael Madden, M.D., medical director of medical performance management at Highmark. "We know that a disproportionate amount of health care spending is for patients with chronic conditions, so we are hoping over time this program will prove to be beneficial for patients as well as the physicians who are e
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SOURCE Highmark Inc.
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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