American Specialty Health Web Sites, and Receive National URAC Accreditation

SAN DIEGO - American Specialty Health, Incorporated, the nation's leading complementary health services organization, has been awarded Health Web Site Accreditation in the current round of URAC/American Accreditation HealthCare Commission reviews.

This first of its kind accreditation program is designed to promote quality and accountability in online health information and services. The dual accreditation American Specialty Health received for and complement the URAC accreditation the company earned four months ago for its site.

"The accreditation of American Specialty Health's additional health Web sites reiterates the company's commitment to excellence online and off," said URAC President and CEO Garry Carneal. " and join in receiving full Web site accreditation. American Specialty Health's long history of quality initiatives is evidenced by the accreditation of their Web sites, as well as numerous other distinguishing URAC accreditations such as Utilization Management, Health Plan and Network, and Workers' Compensation Network Accreditation."

In granting accreditation to, URAC/American Accreditation HealthCare Commission has acknowledged the quality of the Web site for the nation's first specialty health plan for chiropractic and acupuncture. American Specialty Health Plans of California, Inc. (ASH Plans), founded in 1987, is a subsidiary of American Specialty Health and covers more than four million members through alliances with many of the largest health plans in California.

Accreditation has also been given to This Internet site provides news and resources for members of American Specialty Health Networks, Inc. (ASH Networks). Members can find information on how to choose a chiropractor, acupuncturist or massage therapist or search online to locate a provider in their area. American Specialty Health has over 21,000 providers in its networks nationwide. These comprise the largest complementary health care network in the country.

"Consumers want the assurance that their health care Web site contains information they can trust and that it is provided to them in a user-friendly, secure manner," said George DeVries, Chairman and CEO of American Specialty Health. "Meeting the rigorous requirements for quality, accountability, privacy and security within URAC's accreditation standards is an effective way to respond to these expectations."

The URAC Health Web Site Accreditation Program addresses various aspects of Web site operations including health content, editorial process, disclosure of financial relationships, linkages to other Web sites, privacy and security, and consumer complaint mechanisms. The standards for accreditation, based in part on the 14 "Hi-Ethics Principles," are designed to ensure that companies implement health Web sites in a manner that protects consumer interests and provides quality information and services.

URAC/American Accreditation HealthCare Commission is a leader in the accreditation of health and managed care organizations. Founded in 1990, URAC/American Accreditation HealthCare Commission currently offers 13 accreditation programs that span a broad spectrum of health care services. URAC/American Accreditation HealthCare Commission accredited organizations do business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, and provide services to more than 120 million Americans.

Based in San Diego, American Specialty Health and its affiliates provide specialty benefit plans, health educational programs and affinity discount programs nationwide to health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups and trust funds. Its services include quality management, member and provider services, claims, clinical services management, and credentialing. Its affiliate ASH Plans is the nation's first and largest specialty health plan for chiropractic and acupuncture services, operating in California.

American Specialty Health, including its affiliates, has over 550 employees and covers more than 60 million members nationwide. In recent years, the company has also been awarded full URAC accreditation for the quality of its health care operations. ASH Networks and ASH Plans have received accreditation for their chiropractic and acupuncture networks in each of the following five URAC programs: Health Utilization Management, Health Plan, Health Network with Credentialing, Workers' Compensation Utilization Management, and Workers' Compensation Network. In addition, ASH Networks recently earned URAC accreditation for its massage therapy, dietetics and naturopathy programs.

American Specialty Health
Judy Forrester

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