CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has earned the national Health Plan accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based health care accrediting company that establishes quality standards for the health care industry.

“Health Plan accreditation from URAC demonstrates BlueCross’ dedication to providing affordable and quality health care to Tennesseans,” said Dr. Ken Patric, vice president and chief medical officer for BlueCross. “Our members can have peace of mind knowing that we’re working to offer them outstanding service and products.”

The Health Plan accreditation recognizes BlueCross’ commitment to providing quality health care, with standards including key benchmarks for network management, provider credentialing, utilization management, quality management and member relations. The accreditation is effective through April 1, 2010.

“By applying for and receiving Health Plan accreditation, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has demonstrated a commitment to quality health care,” said Alan P. Spielman, URAC president and CEO. “Quality health care is crucial to our nation’s welfare, and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards.”

In addition to the Health Plan accreditation, BlueCross currently holds URAC accreditations for case management, consumer education and support measures, HIPAA privacy initiatives, and health Web site.

URAC, an independent nonprofit organization, is a leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation and certification programs. URAC’s standards keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system and provide a mark of distinction for health care organizations to demonstrate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in setting meaningful standards for the health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.