Blue Cross earns highest national NCQA Accreditation status for quality service and care

Apr 25, 2012, 12:37 ET from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

"Excellent" rating reserved for best health plans in the country

EAGAN, Minn., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced today that it has earned the highest possible accreditation status of "Excellent" for health plans by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA). Based in Washington, D.C., NCQA is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to driving improvement throughout the health care system. Its voluntary accreditation audits are conducted by teams of physicians and managed care experts, with the results made available to purchasers, regulators and consumers via the NCQA web site (

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

Blue Cross earned the Excellent Accreditation for two lines of business: its commercial preferred provider organization (PPO) plans and Medicaid-based health maintenance organizations (HMOs).  The 2012 accreditation is valid for three years; both lines of business had received the highest possible rankings following the last NCQA accreditation in 2009.

NCQA accreditation is more comprehensive and specific than other forms of health plan accreditation. Results are publicly reported in five categories:

  • Access and Service: Do members have adequate access to the care and services they need?
  • Qualified Providers:  Does the health plan assess physician qualifications and member feedback?
  • Staying Healthy:   Does the health plan offer programs and activities for maintaining health and detecting disease?
  • Getting Better:  Does the health plan offer programs and activities for recovering from an illness?
  • Living with illness: Does the health plan offer programs and activities for members with chronic conditions?

"Blue Cross is extremely proud of this achievement," said Jim Eppel, chief operating officer. "This truly demonstrates Blue Cross' commitment to providing our members with the highest level of service and quality care. NCQA Accreditation provides employers and consumers with an ability to evaluate the quality of health plans along a variety of important dimensions, and to make their health plan decisions based on demonstrated quality and value rather than simply on cost."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota