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BCNEPA’s First Priority Health Plan Retains ‘Excellent Accreditation’

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January 4, 2011

NCQA review shows HMO excels in customer satisfaction


January 4, 2010, Wilkes-Barre, PA — The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently affirmed the "Excellent Accreditation" status of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s First Priority Health HMO plan. NCQA, a nationally recognized accrediting agency, performs comprehensive reviews of health plans to ensure organizations deliver high-quality care and service.

The announcement marks more than a decade of consecutive "Excellent Accreditation" designations for First Priority Health HMO.

"NCQA’s Excellent Accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation," said Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA’s president. "It is only awarded to plans that meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care."

During NCQA’s onsite evaluations, which are performed every three years, plans must meet more than 60 standards and submit performance reports in more than 40 categories to ensure competence in areas such as health plan operations, processes, clinical outcomes and member satisfaction.

In the years between onsite evaluations, NCQA relies on its Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set scores (HEDIS®)* to determine the status of a health plan’s accreditation. The scores serve as local and national benchmarks by which consumers can compare health plans.

During NCQA’s 2010 onsite visit, First Priority Health excelled in the area of "Consumer Satisfaction." Members were particularly pleased with the speed and ease with which they accessed care and the plan’s ability to handle their claims.

"Our commitment to meet NCQA’s stringent standards exemplifies First Priority Health’s mission to deliver high-quality affordable health care," said Dr. Leo Hartz, BCNEPA’s Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations. "Whether it’s getting claims right the first time, encouraging the prevention and early detection of illnesses or promoting the use of evidence-based medicine, First Priority Health strives to improve the quality of our members’ lives."

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 550,000 individuals in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide innovative wellness solutions that increase access to high-quality, affordable health care and promote personal accountability.

* HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Media Contact:
Anthony Matrisciano