HEALTH CARE SERVICE CORPORATION SELECTS UPD AS PROVIDER DATA SOLUTION

Nationally Recognized Utility Chosen to Streamline Credentialing for Physicians and Allied Healthcare Professionals in Four States

WASHINGTON, DC - 7/7/10

CAQH® announced today that Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) has selected the Universal Provider Datasource® (UPD®) to streamline provider data collection. HCSC will use the UPD service to electronically gather provider data for credentialing and other uses, such as member directories.

HCSC is a Chicago-based health benefits company serving 12.4 million members. It is the fourth largest health insurer and the biggest customer-owned health insurer in the United States.

“HCSC puts a premium on the deployment of services that benefit the many stakeholders we touch every day of the year,” said Kayla Snowden, director, provider administration, HCSC. “A primary measure of our success is our ability to help lower administrative overhead and help bring down the rate of healthcare costs. What we like about UPD is that it addresses both of these priorities; it will help to streamline our administrative processes and simultaneously support our efforts to decrease operating costs.”

UPD is a recognized industry utility for provider data collection. Physicians requested the service be used to effectively manage their data required for health plans, hospitals, and other healthcare delivery organizations. Participating in UPD will help reduce operating overhead for HCSC, as well as providers and hospitals in contracting provider networks. UPD is relied upon by more than 830,000 physicians and allied healthcare professionals across the United States.

“We are delighted HCSC is using UPD because it is a valuable resource for our members,” said Dr. William Gilmer, president, Harris County Medical Society (HCMS). “Filling out the same information on form after form is administratively inefficient. UPD eliminates this unnecessary repetition, enabling physicians to minimize paperwork and focus on patients instead. HCMS is dedicated to advocating on behalf of its membership efficiencies that relieve physicians from administrative burdens.” HCMS, located in Houston, Texas, is the largest county medical society in the United States with approximately 11,000 physician and medical student members.

As the industry strives to manage cost pressures, operational changes that use best-in-class technologies help offset inefficient processes. The UPD system is playing an important role in this transformation and helping organizations meet national health information technology (HIT) priorities.

UPD complements the long-term perspective and collaborative approach applied by HCSC. The UPD solution simplifies healthcare administration, serves the interests of multiple stakeholders, and enables HCSC to advance the national HIT agenda in the markets it serves.

About the Universal Provider Datasource
CAQH launched UPD to enable providers and other health professionals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to submit required information for credentialing and other purposes. The online service is the industry standard for collecting provider data used in credentialing, claims administration, quality assurance, emergency response, member services, and more. UPD simplifies the initial provider application and re-credentialing processes. All data submitted by providers through the UPD service is maintained by CAQH in a state-of-the-art data center and can only be accessed by the registrant and authorized hospitals, health plans, and other healthcare organizations.

UPD complements the direction being taken by the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA), which is being built to improve administrative processes for Medicaid programs. CAQH estimates that, to date, the UPD service has eliminated 2.4 million credentialing applications, reducing provider administrative costs by more than $95 million per year or over 3.2 million hours. Visit www.caqh.org/ucd.php for more information.

About CAQH
CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, serves as a catalyst for healthcare industry collaboration on initiatives that simplify and streamline healthcare administration. CAQH solutions help promote quality interactions between plans, providers and other stakeholders; reduce costs and frustrations associated with healthcare administration; facilitate administrative healthcare information exchange; and encourage administrative and clinical data integration. Visit www.caqh.orgfor more information.

About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with 12.4 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC has a rating of AA- (Very Strong) from Standard and Poor’s, A1 (Good) from Moody’s and A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company.

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