Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa Receives Full Three-Year MBHO Accreditation from NCQA

Nationally recognized designation demonstrates commitment to highest quality standards

DES MOINES, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa, a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), announced today that it has received Full Managed Behavioral Health Organization (MBHO) Accreditation, the highest possible rating, from NCQA, the nation’s leading provider of independent quality assessments.

NCQA Accreditation is a nationally recognized evaluation that purchasers, regulators and consumers can use to assess MBHOs. It evaluates how well a health plan manages all parts of its delivery system— physicians, hospitals, other providers and administrative services—in order to continuously improve health care for its members.

Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa has managed the Iowa Plan for Behavioral Health since 1995, providing a broad range of mental health and substance abuse services to most of the state’s Medicaid recipients. Although the state of Iowa has regularly required independent external reviews of Magellan’s clinical quality procedures since the inception of the contract, the NCQA review is a new requirement, added as part of the state’s continued focus on quality.

“Receiving this rating from such a prestigious organization like NCQA further demonstrates Magellan’s dedication to clinical quality and confirms that we are doing a good job helping the people of Iowa access the care they need to lead healthy, productive lives,” said Joan Discher, general manager of Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa.

As part of the review, Magellan demonstrated its successful Youth in Transition program, which helps families with children suffering from emotional disturbances access community-based services. This approach enables youth to stay in the community and has, in recent years, yielded better long-term outcomes than traditional inpatient treatment options. As a result of Magellan’s work, member satisfaction associated with accessing community-based support rose by more than 22 percent within a year.

Another quality improvement initiative put forth by Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa enrolls patients who are most at-risk for adverse treatment outcomes in an Intensive Care Management program. Through the program, Magellan successfully increased the number of members who achieved and maintained their treatment goals from 77 to 92 percent within a year.

“This accreditation reflects the success of our longstanding collaboration with Magellan in providing Iowa residents with access to the highest quality of behavioral health services,” added Jennifer Vermeer, director of the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise, which is administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Achieving NCQA Accreditation is a process that includes rigorous on-site and off-site evaluations conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts. A national oversight committee of physicians and behavioral health providers analyzes the team's findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the MBHO's performance compared to NCQA’s demanding standards. Full Accreditation is granted for a period of three years to those plans/organizations that have excellent programs for continuous quality improvement and meet NCQA’s rigorous standards.

About 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. For more information, visit

About Magellan Health Services: Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services, Inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology and specialty pharmaceuticals, as well as public sector pharmacy benefits programs. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those we serve. Magellan’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving approximately 31.2 million members in our behavioral health business, 16.3 million members in our radiology benefits management segment, and 5.5 million members in our medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment serves 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The company’s Medicaid Administration segment serves 25 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit


Magellan Health Services, Inc.
Christine Barnhart, 410-953-2421
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Connecticut  Iowa

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Mental Health  Professional Services  Insurance  Managed Care