Healthcare Resources

American Accreditation Healthcare Commission/URAC:  a 501(c)(3) (non-profit) charitable organization founded in 1990, to establish standards for the health care industry. URAC's programs and services include accreditation, business development, communications, government relations, publications and research, grants and quality initiatives.

The American Association of Retired Persons/AARP:  provides detailed information on managed care and how it works to help seniors make informed decisions about their health care coverage.

American Association of Health Plans/AHIP:  VAHP's national affiliate organization, representing the managed care industry on a national level in advocacy, educational and communications efforts.

Centers for Disease Control/CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control; environmental health; and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. CDC, located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services/CMS: CMS is a federal agency that provides health insurance for over 100 million Americans through Medicare; Medicaid; the Children's Health Insurance Program/CHIP; and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare/CAQH: A not-for-profit alliance of America's leading health plans and networks, committed to improving the quality of healthcare and reducing administrative burdens for physicians, patients and payers. Created in 1999, CAQH member organizations today provide and administer healthcare coverage for more than 100 million Americans.

Department of Medical Assistance Services/DMAS: the website for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services administering the Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan (FAMIS) programs in the Commonwealth.

Health Benefits Coalition: This national organization of three million employers believes affordable, quality health care can best be achieved through broader coverage, choice and competition in the marketplace. The site’s capitol connect feature allows users to find their Congressman and e-mail them about current policy issues.

Joint Commission/TJC:  formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations/JCAHO, accredits over 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the US in an effort to improve the quality of health care through uniform, high standards for patient care and safety. Most states now recognize accreditation of TJC as a condition of licensure and the receipt of Medicaid reimbursement.

The Leap Frog Group: initially created to reduce preventable medical mistakes in hospitals, it is a voluntary program and association of health insurance companies promoting Physician Order Entry to hospitals as a way to decrease medication errors.

Managed Care Magazine:  a guide for health plan executives and physicians on capitation and other health insurance and delivery issues. Full of relevant statistics, industry trends and in-depth features on the latest managed care developments.

National Committee for Quality Assurance/NCQA: NCQA began accrediting health plans in 1991 by using a set of criteria developed to provide information that enables purchasers and consumers of managed health care to distinguish among plans based on quality. The site has areas especially targeted for consumers, purchasers and health plans and offers detailed information on plan accreditation for specific health plans that have scheduled, applied for and/or received NCQA accreditation.

Office of the Managed Care Ombudsman: This Commonwealth of Virginia office at the Virginia Bureau of Insurance assists consumers in understanding their coverage under managed care plans and helps them understand their rights and responsibilities in appealing adverse coverage decisions.

Practitioner Information/Virginia Board of Medicine: website from the Board of Medicine, within the Virginia Department of Health Professions, provides professional information about licensees' education, specialty training, board certification, special areas of interest, paid claims and adverse actions. Also included are office addresses, business hours and insurance information.

Senior is a subsidiary of the Virginia Health Care Foundation, established in cooperation with the AOL Time Warner Foundation and the CollisWarner Foundation. The site offers more than 16,000 in-depth profiles of community-based services throughout Virginia for seniors, their families and caregivers. A user simply enters their ZIP code to find resources in their hometown.

Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics/VAFCC:  a private, nonprofit membership organization, representing and supporting Virginia's network of 37 Free Clinics, which are one of Virginia's largest providers of health care to the uninsured.

Virginia Health Care Foundation/VHCF:  funded over 140 programs targeting some of the toughest primary health care problems in the state since 1992. VHCF is best known for supporting innovative community initiatives.  It also funds projects that increase the number of primary care providers in Virginia's medically underserved areas and utilize telemedicine to increase primary care access in these areas.

Virginia Health Quality Center/VHQC:  a health care quality improvement organization that offers services to a wide range of clients who are interested in assessing and improving the quality of health care for a variety of populations.

Virginians Improving Patient Care & Safety, Inc./VIPC&S:  a statewide not for profit organization created in response to the 1999 National Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report, To Err is Human. Founded by Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Association of Health Plans, Virginia Pharmacists Association and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, VIPC&S has worked with the Joint Commission on Healthcare to review the IOM report and address patient safety issues. a website independent of any doctor, health system, or insurance company, provides a wealth of information about medical and wellness issues.

Women's Health Virginia/WHV:  a non-governmental statewide initiative to promote and improve Virginia women's and girl's health and well-being. It is a private, non-profit, volunteer-based organization.