HIGHMARK BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD, 37 HOSPITALS AMONG NEW GROUP OF ORGANIZATIONS SAVING ADMINISTRATIVE TIME AND MONEY THOUGH CAQH INITIATIVE

Nearly 640,000 Physicians Now Use Universal Provider Datasource

WASHINGTON, DC - 1/15/09

More than 90 healthcare organizations, including 25 health plans and 37 hospitals, signed on to streamline provider data collection through the Universal Provider Datasource® (UPD) service in 2008, CAQH announced today.

According to the organization, the growth reflects the accelerating acceptance of UPD as the leading industry source for self-reported provider data.

“The number and variety of healthcare entities that have adopted UPD in the last year shows an increased industry interest in simplifying data collection,” said Sorin Davis, CAQH Director of Marketing & Business Development. “We are particularly excited about our growth in the hospital sector and the efficiencies UPD can bring there.”

For the first time since it was launched in 2002, the CAQH initiative experienced significant growth in the number of hospitals embracing UPD as a practical solution for their provider data needs. OhioHealth, Ohio State University Health System and St. John’s Healthcare are the three largest hospital systems that started using UPD in 2008.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the largest health plan in Pennsylvania, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona also signed up for the service in 2008.

“The Universal Provider Datasource service offers our providers and our company a simplified credentialing submission process that is standardized, efficient and will greatly reduce administrative burden for all stakeholders,” said Linda Weiland, Vice President of Provider Operations at Highmark.

UPD is helping more than 450 health plans, hospitals and other participating organizations efficiently collect a wide variety of data from nearly 640,000 providers — a landmark milestone for the service. That information includes education, registration numbers and other data essential for provider credentialing, directory maintenance, claims administration, network referrals and quality assurance.

CAQH estimates that UPD has eliminated over 2 million paper credentialing applications to date, reducing provider administrative costs by more than $77.5 million annually.

Formerly known as the Universal Credentialing Datasource, CAQH launched UPD as an online service to enable providers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to electronically submit, store, update and access their most critical information. The centerpiece of the UPD service is a standardized application that meets the needs of all participating health plans and other healthcare organizations. The UPD application meets all related URAC, National Committee for Quality Assurance and Joint Commission standards.

For a list of UPD- participating organizations, visit http://www.caqh.org/ucd_health_participating.php

ABOUT CAQH
CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations working to streamline healthcare administration, is a catalyst for healthcare industry collaboration on initiatives that simplify and streamline healthcare administration, resulting in a better care experience for patients and caregivers. 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.org for more information.

Contact:
CAQH
Chris McNamara
(202) 778-3271

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