CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Health Ethics Trust® recently named BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee a winner in two categories at its 2009 Healthcare Compliance Best Practices Forum. BlueCross was among seven organizations recently honored at the forum held in Washington DC.

The company was specifically recognized for the redesign of its compliance training program, which is responsible for the yearly training of more than 5,000 employees. Additionally, BlueCross was acknowledged for its practice of researching compliance inquiries—both internal and external—to assess program effectiveness. These awards are based on an established peer review process that identifies best practices in key compliance areas.

“The Health Ethics Trust awards demonstrate BlueCross’ long-term commitment to conducting business with ethics and integrity,” said Judith Nelson, chief compliance officer for BlueCross. “They also demonstrate leadership in the field by implementing effective programs in an efficient manner.”

Because BlueCross operates in a highly regulated industry and does business with government entities, the company must follow stringent guidelines. BlueCross’ compliance program is a systematic process that is continuously monitored by compliance professionals, auditors and attorneys.

The company’s compliance program is designed to:

• Identify federal, state and local requirements that affect BlueCross’ operations, members and network providers

• Minimize legal risk by preventing, detecting and correcting non-compliance

• Protect the BlueCross brand and reputation

• Foster a culture of high performance with integrity

• Provide employees a safe haven for reporting concerns

Founded in 1995 as a response to growing compliance and ethics concerns, the Health Ethics Trust provides a variety of educational, research and advisory services to providers, managed care organizations, payers and health plans, among other health-related organizations.

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.