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Which Health Care Organizations Are Advancing Consumer Protection and Empowerment?
Date:1/28/2010

URAC's 2010 Best Practices Awards Will Recognize Innovative Leadership and Successful Health Programs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, the nation's leading health care accreditation and education organization, has issued a call for entries for its 2010 Best Practices Awards in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection to find which companies are setting the standard in advancing the role of consumers as active participants in health care.

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"At a time when everyone is looking for health care value, transparency, and accountability, the URAC Best Practices Awards give health care organizations an opportunity to showcase best practices and receive recognition for their commitment to engage consumers as partners," said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. "We are delighted to honor those who are leading the health care industry through innovation and providing proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers."

URAC's Best Practices Awards recognize the achievements of health care companies that are actively pursuing practices to advance consumer empowerment and protection in an exceptional, measurable and reproducible way. Last year's winners included innovative companies such as CVS Caremark, HealthPartners, Eliza Corporation, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, and Pro-Change Behavior Systems.

Awards will be given in two categories. The Consumer Decision-Making category recognizes practices that educate consumers about their health care needs while providing the information, tools, and resources necessary to promote empowerment. These could include health coaching, disease-specific education, or behavior change programs. The Consumer Health Improvement category honors practices that are related to quality improvement in patient safety such as drug therapy management, disease prevention, or care coordination.

The competition is open to six types of health care organizations: Health Care Provider Practices, Health Information/Decision Support Companies, Health Management Companies, Health Plans and Health Networks, Pharmacy Management Companies, and Workers' Compensation Companies.

Entries will face rigorous evaluation by a panel of independent judges comprised of experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision-making and patient safety.

To promote industry knowledge and provide further recognition for their programs, finalists will have the opportunity to present their award-winning practice during an educational session at URAC's 11th Annual Quality Summit and Awards Program scheduled for October 5–7, 2010 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

The deadline for entries is March 15, 2010. To access the online submission form, visit www.urac.org/QualitySummit11/. For questions, email education@urac.org or call 202-216-9010.

About URAC

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

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