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Health First Health Plans Receives Highest Accreditation from NCQA

ROCKLEDGE, FL (June 27, 2012) - Health First Health Plans has been awarded an Accreditation status of Excellent - the highest possible level - from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Health First Health Plans has received this top rating for both its commercial and Medicare plans for the third consecutive three-year accreditation period.

The NCQA Accreditation survey process includes on-site and off-site evaluations of more than 60 standards and selected HEDIS® performance measures conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts. Information from health plan records, consumer surveys, and interviews with health plan staff are collected. A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team's findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the plan's performance in five areas: Access and Service, Qualified Providers, Staying Healthy, Getting Better, and Living with Illness. Consumers can easily access a health plan's status and other information on health care quality at www.ncqa.org.

"Health First Health Plan members are familiar with our friendly, local customer service, but we believe they deserve to know they're also receiving national-level clinical quality and service," said Margaret Haney, President/CEO of Health First Health Plans. "NCQA Accreditation is a voluntary review process and not all health plans are willing to undergo such a comprehensive inspection. Our employees, providers and managers have all contributed to the NCQA Accreditation process in some way, so we are extremely proud of this achievement."

"NCQA's Excellent Accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation," said Margaret E. O'Kane, President of NCQA. "It is only awarded to those plans that meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care."

About Health First Health Plans

Centrally located in the Suntree area, Health First Health Plans currently has more than 63,000 members, including 23,000 Medicare members. Serving residents of Brevard County and part of Sebastian in Indian River County for 16 years, Health First Health Plans was founded as part of Health First, Inc. a not-for-profit family of healthcare services that also includes Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital, Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center, Health First Palm Bay Hospital, Health First Viera Hospital and Medical Plaza, and Health First Physicians.

For more information, visit www.HealthFirstHealthPlans.org or call 321-434-5665, toll-free 1-800-716-7737, or TTY/TDD 1-800-955-8771. Customer service hours are 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, between October 1 and February 14. From February 15 to September 30, customer service hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, 8 am to Noon. Callers may receive a messaging service on weekends and holidays. Please leave a message and your call will be returned the next business day. You may also visit our office Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, at 6450 US Highway 1, Rockledge, FL 32955.

About NCQA

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare 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.

HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance.