CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced today that its Web site has been awarded Health Web Site Accreditation by URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based health care accrediting organization.

URAC’s Health Web Site Accreditation program is the first of its kind, and promotes quality and accountability in online health information and services.

“Our Web site is designed to provide valuable health content and services to our network of doctors, our broker partners and, most importantly, our members,” said Bob Worthington, senior vice president of business operations for BlueCross. “URAC’s accreditation validates our efforts to provide the best possible information to Tennesseans.”

The URAC Health Web Site Accreditation standards cover 50 important requirements including health content editorial process, disclosure of financial relationships, linking to other Web sites, privacy, security and mechanisms for consumer complaints. The standards also contain requirements to assure consumers that organizations have adequate internal processes and structure to monitor and maintain Web site quality over time.

“By applying for and receiving URAC Health Web Site Accreditation, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has displayed their leadership through a commitment to quality and accountability,” said Garry Carneal, URAC president and CEO. “Such a commitment is critical to the future growth of e-health as an integral part of our nation’s health care system.”

The accreditation process takes approximately three to six months to complete and consists of an exhaustive review of the actual Web site, evaluation of site policies and procedures, and interviews with the Web site staff.

URAC is a leader in the accreditation of health and managed care organizations. Founded in 1990, URAC currently offers more than 16 accreditation programs that span a broad spectrum of health care services. URAC has issued over 2,300 accreditation certificates to more than 500 health care programs. URAC-accredited organizations do business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada and provide services to more than 150 million Americans.

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.