Aetna Behavioral Health Receives Full Three-year MBHO Accreditation For Quality From NCQA

Aetna demonstrates commitment to providing quality care and customer service to its members

HARTFORD, Conn., January 25, 2008 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that its Behavioral Health program has received the highest possible rating a managed behavioral health organization can receive from the nation’s leading provider of independent quality assessments. Aetna received a ’Full’ Managed Behavioral Health Organization (MBHO) Accreditation rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The accreditation applies to the nearly 13 million Aetna members enrolled in behavioral health programs throughout the country.

"In order to earn Full Accreditation, a behavioral health organization must work hard to coordinate care, ensure access and provide strong support for its members," said Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA President. "The Full Accreditation seal is a sign that an MBHO is committed to the highest standards of service and care."

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.

"Our plan sponsor customers expect a quality product when they purchase from Aetna, and we are pleased that this independent evaluation from NCQA provides them with evidence that we are meeting those expectations. We are pleased to receive recognition from NCQA," said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. "NCQA is the most independent, reliable measure of excellence available in the healthcare industry. Receiving this rating from such a prestigious organization demonstrates Aetna Behavioral Health’s dedication to quality."

The NCQA evaluated Aetna’s two Behavioral Health program offices in Sandy, Utah and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

The accreditation is a voluntary review process which 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 standards.

NCQA’s demanding accreditation standards are developed with input from employers, managed care organizations, state and federal regulators, consumer groups, MBHOs and members of the public.

Aetna embraces a commitment to quality, as evidenced by the importance placed on achieving NCQA Accreditation. Nationally, all 21 Aetna commercial plans surveyed by NCQA have met its rigorous standards.

To date, the following Aetna HMO plans have been awarded an NCQA Accreditation Status of Commendable or better, or New Health Plan Accreditation Status:

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 and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices. For more information, visit

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.4 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, government-sponsored plans and expatriates.

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