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Highmark Inc. receives NCQA Distinction in Multicultural Health Care

Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH (June 4, 2015) — Highmark Inc. has again achieved Distinction in Multicultural Health Care (MHC) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its Pennsylvania commercial and Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO products offered through Highmark, its managed care network in western Pennsylvania, its commercial and Medicare Advantage PPO products in West Virginia and its commercial PPO, HMO and POS products in Delaware. This recognition exemplifies the company's leadership in working to reduce health disparities related to race, ethnicity and language; enhance consumers' health literacy and care, as well as providers' cultural competency; and improve the quality of health care for all Americans.

"Highmark's mission is to deliver high quality, accessible, understandable and affordable experiences, outcomes and solutions to all those we serve. This commitment led us to develop a comprehensive strategy that includes not only our members and employees but also representatives from the culturally diverse community and network practitioners, so to best meet the needs of multicultural populations," said Donald Fischer, M.D., Highmark senior vice president of health affairs and chief medical officer. "As we make progress in reaching this goal and help do our part in reducing health care disparities, we are honored to again receive NCQA's Distinction in MHC recognition."

NCQA awards Distinction to organizations that meet or exceed its rigorous requirements for multicultural health care. MCH Distinction recognizes organizations that lead the market in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and working to reduce health care disparities.

The MHC Distinction review evaluates how well an organization complies with the standards for the following areas:

  • Collection of race/ethnicity and language data directly from members and providers;
  • Provision of language assistance services that meets member needs and preferences;
  • Cultural responsiveness by providers and organizational staff; and
  • Reduction of health care disparities.

"Highmark believes that direct data collection remains a necessary first step in addressing health disparities. Receiving NCQA distinction again this year is a significant achievement and reaffirms that we are on the right track in serving diverse populations," said Rhonda Moore Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., Highmark senior medical director for health equity and quality services. "It is important for us to understand how to communicate effectively regardless of an individual's race, ethnicity, culture or language, and by training network practitioners, our clinical staff and customer service representatives, we ensure that our members will receive the best care and attention on all levels."

About the National Committee for Quality Assurance (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.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. is among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and is the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.3 million members. Its diversified health businesses serve group customer and individual health needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related health businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
For more information, contact:
David Misner
Highmark Inc.
717-302-3638
david.misner@highmark.com