CIGNA HealthCare Of Georgia, Inc. Awarded NCQA Excellent Accreditation

ATLANTA, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CIGNA HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. announced the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has awarded it an "Excellent" three-year accreditation for the plan's HMO and POS products. This is the top accreditation designation possible and demonstrates CIGNA's ongoing commitment to provide access to quality health care. The NCQA is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to measuring the quality of America's health care.

"An `Excellent' accreditation from NCQA validates CIGNA's commitment to providing members access to quality health care," said Mary Caulfield, MD, Vice President and Senior Medical Executive for CIGNA HealthCare of Georgia, Inc.

NCQA accreditation is an independent evaluation of how a health plan helps ensure its members are receiving quality care. It includes a review of the success of health plan programs that help members get effective health care. Program results that measure clinical quality, such as the number of enrollees who receive certain disease prevention screenings, are considered in the NCQA review.

One example of such a program is the CIGNA Well Aware Program for Better Health(SM), a disease management program for eligible members with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, low back pain and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The program offers education and support to help empower members to gain greater control over their health. It promotes improved use of medication regimes and diagnostic testing, provides guidance and information on diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors and reinforces standards of care recommended by the member's physician. The Well Aware program is one of the largest disease management programs in the country, with over 550,000 members currently enrolled.

CIGNA HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. was the only combined HMO/POS health plan in the state to receive highest ratings in all categories. These categories include access to care and qualified providers, quality of service, how well the plan helps members stay healthy or get better if they are ill, and how well the plan helps members with a chronic condition live with that illness.

"NCQA's `Excellent' accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation. It is only awarded to those plans that meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical," said Margaret E. O'Kane, President, NCQA.

As of November 2004, a total of ninety-two percent of CIGNA HealthCare accredited plans hold NCQA's `Excellent' accreditation status.

CIGNA HealthCare, headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, provides medical benefits through managed care and indemnity health care plans, dental coverage, behavioral health coverage, and pharmacy benefits. "CIGNA HealthCare" refers to various operating subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation . Products and services are provided by these operating subsidiaries and not by CIGNA Corporation.

CIGNA HealthCare

Contact: Nicole Blatcher of CIGNA, +1-215-761-4756

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