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The National Committee for Quality Assurance, for the 16th straight year, has awarded Independent Health Association its highest accreditation status of “excellent” for its commercial and Medicare businesses, the insurer said.

The honor followed an on-site review that included evaluation of more than 70 NCQA standards in five key areas, with Independent Health scoring 99.4 percent. Those five areas include quality management and improvement, utilization management, credentialing of providers, members’ rights and responsibilities, and member connectivity.

Univera Healthcare last fall received an “excellent” rating for Medicare and “commendable” for commercial. HealthNow New York, parent of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, also has an “excellent” rating.

NCQA is a private, nonprofit group that focuses on improving health care quality and acting as an external review organization for health insurers. The group has accredited two-thirds of the nation’s health plans, which cover 75 percent of all insurance participants.

“For Independent Health, this recognition from NCQA is third-party proof that our programs and initiatives to achieve improved patient care and satisfaction are truly working,” said Independent Health President and CEO Dr. Michael W. Cropp. “Earning NCQA’s highest accreditation status also demonstrates the strength of our collaboration with our physician and provider partners.”

email: jepstein@buffnews.com