URAC changes health plan, health network standards

Accrediting agency URAC has changed its standards and measures for health plans and health networks, moves designed to increase patients' participation in their care.

Under the new rules, health plans and other organizations will now be required to give patients information on their financial responsibilities and resources and how benefit programs work, as well as offer support for special needs, the group said. Health plans are also urged to give consumers information about evidence-based healthcare and the cost of covered benefits under these standards.

The changes follow another set of standards changes last month by URAC. The group released rules for its comprehensive wellness accreditation program, designed to measure how effective wellness programs are at meeting such goals as preventing chronic disease and reducing health risks. URAC will begin accrediting the first companies in December and release an accreditation guide in March 2009, according to Modern Healthcare.

To learn more about the URAC changes:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

Related Article:
URAC rolls out new health IT standards