Optima, Sentara Health Plans Receive Highest Level Of Accreditation from NCQA for Commercial Products
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Optima, Sentara Health Plans Receive Highest Level Of Accreditation from NCQA for Commercial Products 

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Norfolk, VA - July 27, 2000 - Three health plans administered by Sentara Health Management have received the highest level of accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Optima Health Plan's Commercial HMO, Optima Health Insurance Company's Commercial POS Plan, and Sentara Health Plans, Inc.'s Commercial HMO have all been awarded an accreditation of "Excellent" by NCQA. Optima Health Plan's HMO Medicaid product (Sentara Family Care) has been awarded a "Commendable" Accreditation by NCQA.

NCQA is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, managed behavioral health care organizations, physician organizations, and credentials verification organizations. Its mission is to provide information that enables purchasers and consumers of managed health care to distinguish among plans based on quality, thereby allowing them to make more informed decisions.

"NCQA does a very thorough review of our entire operation," said Michael M. Dudley, president of Sentara Health Management. "Earning the highest possible accreditation status from NCQA for these three products is very important to our employees. The NCQA recognition means our service and clinical quality are meeting or exceeding the organization's rigorous standards for consumer protection and quality improvement."

Dudley says NCQA has challenged health plans to strive for a higher level of care and service, a challenge Optima is ready and willing to meet.

"From our disease management programs and health and wellness screenings to our 'Resistance Kills' campaign to reduce antibiotic resistance in Hampton Roads, Optima is committed to our mission of improving the health of our members and the community of Hampton Roads," Dudley says.

An accreditation of "Excellent" by the NCQA is reserved for those Managed Care Organization (MCO) product lines and products that deliver the highest quality of care and service, and whose clinical and administrative systems meet or exceed NCQA's requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement. Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDISâ ) results must be in the upper range of national performance to achieve this designation which is intended to stimulate and recognize exceptional MCO performance.

Optima Health Plan, Optima Health Insurance Company, and Sentara Health Plan are part of an integrated health care delivery system, Sentara Healthcare. Sentara Healthcare is the premier health care provider in southeastern Virginia. Sentara operates more than 70 caregiving sites including six hospitals, 10 nursing and assisted living facilities, two outpatient health care campuses, home health and hospice services, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, ground and air medical transport services, and two fitness facilities.

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