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ARTICLE UnitedHealthcare Awarded Physician Quality Certification Renewal

MINNETONKA, Minn. (Dec. 20, 2011) – The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has renewed UnitedHealthcare's Physician Quality Certification, recognizing UnitedHealthcare's consumer-centered approach to empowering plan participants with useful, comparative information about the physicians who participate in its care provider network.


The NCQA Physician Quality Certification program evaluates how well health plans measure and report physician performance, encourage collaboration, and promote high-quality, cost-effective care. UnitedHealthcare has held Physician Quality Certification since June 2008, with certified commercial HMO, EPO, POS and PPO health plans currently in 38 states and the District of Columbia.


"UnitedHealthcare has shown that its commitment to quality includes transparent, rigorous review of the physicians with whom it works," said Margaret E. O'Kane, NCQA president. "Measurement, transparency and collaboration among organizations are the cornerstones of better care."


A key component of UnitedHealthcare's certification renewal is the UnitedHealth Premium Physician Designation program. The program uses clinical information from health care claims to assist physicians in their continuous improvement and to help consumers make more informed and personally appropriate choices for their care. It combines evidence-based, medical society and national standards with robust data sources to evaluate physicians across 21 specialties – showing physicians how they compare with national quality standards and local cost-efficiency measures.


Nearly 20 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare individual and employer-sponsored health benefit plans can access this data online at myUHC.com.


"Consumers want access to more meaningful cost and quality-of-care data to help them navigate the health care system and become smarter patients. NCQA's Physician Quality Certification validates our efforts in providing patients with reliable, easy-to-use information that helps them make more informed health care decisions," said Rhonda Medows, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Quality Management & Performance.


About NCQA
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers. Consumers can easily access an organization's NCQA status and other information on health care quality online or by calling NCQA Customer Support at (888) 275-7585.


About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.