SOURCE: LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc.

November 30, 2005 08:00 ET

LifeMasters Receives URAC Accreditation and NCQA Accreditation Renewal

Leading Organizations That Establish Health Care Quality Standards Have Accredited LifeMasters' Disease Management Programs With High Marks

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 30, 2005 -- LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, a national leader in providing disease management programs and services, announced today that it has received accreditation from the nation's leading national health care quality organizations, URAC and NCQA, for its disease management programs.

The URAC accreditation is the first in LifeMasters history. URAC, a Washington D.C.-based health care accrediting organization establishes quality standards for the health care industry. URAC disease management standards promote evidence-based practice, collaborative relationships with providers, consumer education and shared-decision making with consumers. These standards apply to all types of organizations providing services for individuals with chronic illnesses, including health plans, stand-alone disease management organizations and medical management organizations.

The NCQA accreditation is a full, three-year renewal of patient, practitioner accreditation status by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with very high marks for its diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma disease management programs. A new accreditation for LifeMasters' hypertension disease management program was also granted.

LifeMasters disease management programs were initially accredited by NCQA in November of 2002. NCQA's disease management reaccreditation requires effective performance in six major areas, including program content, patient services, practitioner services, clinical systems, measurement of quality improvement and program operations.

"We are very proud to receive accreditation by both URAC and NCQA for our disease management programs. These accreditations mirror the high quality standards we value and uphold here at LifeMasters," said David R. Strand, President and CEO. "These accreditations are further evidence of our commitment to provide our customers and program participants with the highest quality disease management programs that are audited and verified by nationally recognized healthcare standards organizations."

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well known as a leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation and certification programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About NCQA

The NCQA is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting on the quality of managed care plans, managed behavioral healthcare organizations, preferred provider organizations, new health plans, physician organizations, credentials verification organizations, disease management programs and other health-related programs. For more information, visit www.ncqa.org.

About LifeMasters Supported SelfCare

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, Inc. is a leading provider of disease management programs and services that create health partnerships among individuals, their physicians and payors. Its mission is to empower individuals to achieve and maintain optimal health. The programs improve quality of care for people with chronic illnesses, reduce chronic-disease costs for payors and provide decision-support tools for physicians. LifeMasters offers programs for individuals with diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma (all of which are fully accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and URAC), hypertension, and musculo-skeletal pain. LifeMasters' programs are holistically focused and support clinical co-morbidities such as depression and facilitate lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and weight loss. LifeMasters provides services to more than 500,000 people throughout the nation.

Founded in 1994 by a Harvard-trained physician, LifeMasters works with some of the nation's leading health plans, employers, retirement systems and governmental organizations, including Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (Medicaid) and CMS. More information about LifeMasters can be found at www.lifemasters.com or by calling 1-800-777-1307.

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