MEDICAL MUTUAL OF OHIO JOINS CAQH PROVIDER CREDENTIALING SIMPLIFICATION INITIATIVE

WASHINGTON, DC - 10/3/05

The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), an alliance of the nation’s leading health plans and networks working to simplify healthcare administration, announced today that Medical Mutual of Ohio will now use the CAQH Universal Credentialing DataSource® (UCD) to streamline credentialing for its 32,000 providers.

Medical Mutual, the oldest and largest health insurance company based in Ohio, with 1.5 million members, joins more than 250 health plans participating in the credentialing simplification initiative. After implementation, all Medical Mutual network providers will be required to submit their credentialing information through UCD.

Launched in 2002 by CAQH, UCD allows physicians and allied health professionals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to provide their credentialing information free of charge though a single, online application. More than 230,000 providers are currently registered in UCD; approximately 10,000 new providers register each month.

"Because I continue in active medical practice, I am very sensitive to the paperwork and administrative burdens that physicians face daily,” said Robert Rzewnicki, M.D., Medical Mutual of Ohio’s chief medical officer. “Our relationship with CAQH allows Medical Mutual to leverage technology to provide us with the information we need while saving physicians time and money."

UCD is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the Medical Group Management Association and other provider organizations, and recognized by a number of state legislators and insurance commissioners.

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

All data submitted by providers through UCD is maintained by CAQH in a secure, state-of-the-art data center. Providers authorize health plans and other organizations to access to the information. Periodic provider updates help ensure that the information is always current; provider changes are automatically sent to participating healthcare organizations. The service’s newest feature, the Ongoing Sanctions Monitoring Module, streamlines the sanctions monitoring and review process by centralizing data collection from more than 400 sources, including all state licensing boards, the Office of Inspector General, Office of Personnel Management and Medicare/Medicaid organizations.

CAQH is a not-for-profit alliance of the nation’s leading health plans and networks that works collaboratively to streamline healthcare administration and help improve the healthcare experience for providers and consumers. Its members, who provide healthcare coverage to more than 50 million Americans, are strongly committed to developing and implementing programs that reduce administrative burdens for physicians and patients and improve quality of care.

Founded in 1934, Medical Mutual serves its customers through high-quality, affordable group and personal health insurance plans, and third-party administrative services to self-insured group customers. Medical Mutual's annual premium and service-generated revenue in 2004 was billion. Based in Cleveland, Medical Mutual also has offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton and Youngstown. For more information, visit the company’s award-winning Web site at www.MedMutual.com

CONTACT:
Chris McNamara
(202) 778-3271

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