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Eight managed care plans have been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for their innovative programs aimed at improving health care for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic groups. The winners of the “Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Awards” were Aetna, Highmark, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Molina Healthcare of Michigan, UnitedHealthcare of New York, UnitedHealthcare Latino Health Solutions, Virginia Premier Health Plan, and WellPoint. . . . Fifteen pharmacy benefit managers have agreed to do business in a fully transparent manner, according to the HR Policy Association. To be considered, PBMs have to agree to meet the HR Policy Association Pharmaceutical Coalition’s standards, which provide employers with the most rigorous level of drug purchasing transparency available. . . . Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting Initiative got low marks from medical practice leaders, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The group’s members voiced their frustration with the initiative, citing the lack of data available for improving patient outcomes, the administrative burden of participating, the difficulty accessing and downloading the 2007 feedback reports, and delays in receiving the results, sometimes as long as 18 months after initial submission of data.

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