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Group Health Cooperative's Medicare Advantage HMO Plan Receives Highest Star Ratings for Quality and Service from Medicare for 2013

SEATTLE, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Group Health Cooperative announced today that its Clear Care (HMO) Medicare Advantage health plan received an overall rating of 5 stars for Parts C and D, the highest rating from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2013.

Through the Medicare Star Quality Rating System, CMS assigns scores of one to five stars to Medicare Advantage plans based on more than 50 care and service quality measures across five categories. These include staying healthy, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service, and pharmacy services. The CMS star quality rating system offers the most objective and comprehensive rating of Medicare health plans available to consumers today. Five stars represent plans with the greatest ability to consistently deliver quality care and service to Medicare beneficiaries.

"CMS rewards health plans for a high level of consistent performance, and Group Health Cooperative's deep commitment to continuous improvement has paid off as we achieved a score that recognizes year over year high performance across all measures," said Scott Armstrong, President and CEO for Group Health Cooperative. "Group Health is committed to providing the highest quality care and service to our members. We are honored that our plan received such an excellent rating once again this year."

"At this time of change in American health care, we owe it to our citizens to give the best care and service at the most affordable price, and quality is a critical part of that equation," said Michael Soman, MD, President and Chief Medical Executive for Group Health Physicians. "At Group Health, our work to improve quality is never done. Each improvement we make starts with our patients' needs, and depends on the commitment of every person who works here to make patient experience better, every day."

Additionally, Group Health Cooperative's Clear Care (HMO) Medicare Advantage plan was also ranked 9th in the nation among 403 health insurance plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Medicare Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2012–2013. This is the highest ranking that Group Health has attained, and the 5th straight year that our Medicare plan is in the top 10 percent nationally.

NCQA is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting the quality of managed care plans to help consumers, employers and others make informed healthcare choices. NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings have been widely recognized since 2005 as a valuable measure of clinical performance and customer satisfaction for both commercial (private) and Medicare plans. For more information, and to see the rankings, visit www.ncqa.org.

Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next. The 2013 star ratings for Medicare health plans are available on the Medicare "Plan Finder" on Medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Plans that earn 5 stars are designated with a special icon for easy identification.

Other online sources for enrollees that explain Group Health's star ratings include https://www.ghc.org

Group Health Cooperative

Group Health is one of the nation's leading nonprofit health systems, recognized for its consumer-governed cooperative origins and innovative solutions for improving care. Established in 1947, Group Health Cooperative, together with its subsidiaries Group Health Options, Inc. and KPS Health Plans, provides health coverage to over 626,000 residents of Washington State and North Idaho.

More than 400,000 members receive care from Group Health Physicians medical group at Group Health Medical Centers locations across the Puget Sound region and Spokane. Group Health advances health in the community through its medical education, charitable foundation, and nationally recognized research institute.

For more on how Group Health continues to innovate for better health go to: GHinnovates.org.



CONTACT:


Group Health: Katie McCarthy, 206-448-2149

Afterhours, 206-448-4056

@GroupHealth


Porter Novelli: Rebecca Reese, 206-290-0480



SOURCE Group Health Cooperative