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Saint Mary’s retains ‘excellent’ accreditation
by Tribune Staff
Aug 03, 2011 | 516 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

RENO — Saint Mary’s Health Plans (SMHP) HealthFirst HMO/POS recently completed its third survey by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and has again received NCQA’s highest accreditation rating of “Excellent.” This accreditation denotes Saint Mary’s HealthFirst as Nevada’s first and only commercial HMO/POS health plan to earn the prestigious honor or distinction, according to a company press release.

“Having received such a distinction from NCQA speaks volumes about the quality of service we provide and how it translates into member satisfaction,” said Don Kowitz, president and CEO for Saint Mary’s Health Plans. “We work diligently to ensure our members have access to the best resources in the state, an approach that has helped us maintain some of the longest lasting member relationships in the region.”

NCQA accreditation requires a rigorous review of a health plans consumer protection and quality improvement systems, and requires annual submission of audited data on selected key clinical and service measures, including Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS).

HEDIS is a set of standardized clinical measures designed to help employers and consumers compare a health plan’s performance, in such areas as breast cancer screening, comprehensive diabetes care, childhood immunizations, controlling high blood pressure, smoking cessation, etc.

Additionally, CAHPS is a standardized survey of consumers’ experiences that is conducted annually to evaluate Saint Mary’s HealthFirst’s performance in such areas as getting needed care, getting care quickly, how well doctors communicate, customer service and claims processing.

Saint Mary’s Health Plans serves 44,000 members with numerous Nevada organizations, including the Churchill County School District, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno Tahoe Airport Authority, Sienna Hotel and Casino and Scolari’s.

For more information, call 888-840-9080 or visit

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