HUMANA JOINS NATIONAL EFFORT TO SIMPLIFY PROVIDER CREDENTIALING PROCESS

WASHINGTON, DC - 1/11/05

The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), a not-for-profit alliance of the nation’s leading health plans and networks, today announced the latest health plan to take part in its national effort to streamline the credentialing process for healthcare providers. Humana and its ChoiceCare Network will participate in Universal Credentialing DataSource, an online solution offering physicians and other healthcare practitioners a free, single source for submitting required credentialing information to participating healthcare organizations.

Humana, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health benefits companies, joins more than 50 health plans nationwide ­ including Aetna, CIGNA and UnitedHealthcare ­ now participating in Universal Credentialing DataSource. Over the next two months, Humana will roll out the service to over 425,000 healthcare providers nationwide.

“Credentialing can be one of the most time-consuming and burdensome administrative tasks for any physician practice and we are excited to be part of this collaborative charge to change that,” said Gary D. Thompson, vice president, operations and compliance for Humana. “By offering Universal Credentialing DataSource to the providers within our network, we will help streamline the data submission and updating process to reduce costs and allow more time for patient care.”

Universal Credentialing DataSource is a fast, cost-effective and simple way for healthcare providers to securely submit credentialing information one time, online or via fax, to multiple health plans and networks. Today, nearly 150,000 providers nationwide have registered with CAQH for the service, with an average of 1,800 signing up per week.

“We are extremely pleased that Humana has joined in our industry-wide effort to simplify credentialing for both providers and healthcare organizations,” said Robin J. Thomashauer, executive director of CAQH. “As more health plans participate in Universal Credentialing DataSource, it becomes an even more valuable tool for physicians and their staff and is on its way to becoming the industry standard.”

All data collected through Universal Credentialing DataSource is maintained by CAQH in a secure, state-of-the-art data center and is only made available to health plans and networks that have been authorized by each provider. Simple updates help ensure that information is always current and changes are automatically sent to healthcare organizations. Each healthcare organization then reviews and verifies application data and independently decides whether or not a physician meets its standards for participation.

Developed by CAQH with input from providers, health plans, professional associations, insurance regulators and accreditation associations, Universal Credentialing DataSource is endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians and formally supported by the American College of Physicians.

To learn more about Universal Credentialing DataSource, visit www.caqh.org. Providers and staff can also contact their health plan directly for more information.

About CAQH

The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) is a not-for-profit alliance of health plans and networks that promotes collaborative initiatives to help make healthcare more affordable, share knowledge to improve the quality of care, and make administration easier for physicians and their patients. For more information, please visit www.caqh.org.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 7 million medical members located primarily in 15 states and Puerto Rico. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer-choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals. Over its 43-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio. More information is available at http://www.humana.com.

CONTACT:
Jon Wentzel
(202) 778-3271

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