Local News

April 1, 2012

Business briefs: April 1, 2012

Accreditation received

UTICA — The managed care plans of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield have again received the highest accreditation status available, a rating of "Excellent" from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Excellent rating applies for all commercial, Medicaid and Medicare plans.

The committee is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health-care quality. Employers and consumers use its information to make more informed health-care choices. Its excellent accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation and is only awarded to those that meet or exceed its rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care.

To become accredited, a health plan must undergo a rigorous evaluation of more than 60 standards designed to evaluate its clinical and administrative systems. The committee accreditation 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 the quality of care and services provided to its members. Full accreditation is effective for a three-year period.

To learn more, visit

Engineering award

ALBANY — New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald recently served as master of ceremonies at the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York annual Engineering Excellence Awards gala and accepted the Award of Merit for the department's response to tropical storms Irene and Lee.

"It is a pleasure to be honored by the leading engineering organization in New York State, both for the hard work we performed following devastating late-summer storms and for the work of our consultants on important infrastructure projects across the state," McDonald said. "When storms cut off transportation access for thousands of New Yorkers, NYSDOT crews were on the scene clearing debris, making repairs and restoring mobility."

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