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URAC Names 2013 Health Care Stars! Award Winners at Annual Quality Summit and Awards Program

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Health Care Professionals Named for Outstanding Work in Consumer Engagement and Protection.

Washington, DC– October 1, 2013 – URAC, a leading health care accreditation and education organization, recognized its 2013 Health Care Stars! Awards winners. Honored this year were Elvin Montanez, Pharm.D., Samuel Nussbaum, MD, and Leslie Wilchinsky, RN, CCM. URAC’s Health Care Stars! Award honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare of health care consumers through saving and improving lives, preventing adverse health outcomes, and other positive changes. The awards were presented during URAC’s 2013 Annual Quality Summit and Awards Program in Washington, DC.

“Individuals who choose to work in health care have a rare dedication to improving the lives of others,” said Kylanne Green, URAC President and CEO. “We are honored to showcase a select few who have constantly risen above their daily duties. These exceptional people do great work to protect and empower health care consumers worldwide.”

This year’s Health Care Star! Award winners are:

  • Dr. Elvin Montanez, Senior Vice President, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy

Dr. Montanez has a proven dedication to protecting and empowering health care consumers. He spearheaded the introduction of BioPlus’ “2-Hour Patient Acceptance Guarantee” program in 2013 which guarantees notification to physician offices in less than two hours whether their referred patients are accepted for treatment through the BioPlus specialty pharmacy. Additionally, he was part of the leadership team of the Patient Foundation Assistance program which successfully connected BioPlus patients with $5.1 million in foundation grants and co-pay assistance last year, without which some patients with chronic, complex, and/or life-threatening diseases would not be able to start treatment.

  • Dr. Samuel Nussbaum, Executive Vice President of Clinical Health Policy and Chief Medical Officer, WellPoint, Inc.

An innovator of provider payment strategy, Dr. Nussbaum advocates a national policy that shifts from rewarding volume to rewarding value, and is an internal champion of WellPoint’s commitment to transforming the private payment system for hospitals and physicians. His advocacy led WellPoint to become the first major carrier to announce in May 2011 that it will only consider rate increases for hospitals willing to tie payments to improved safety, quality, patient care and value. In addition, Dr. Nussbaum has led the building of Patient Centered Medical Homes across the country, and he was a driving force behind Patient Safety First, a California Partnership for Health initiative that has saved lives, improved care quality, and reduced costs in California’s hospitals.

  • Leslie Wilchinsky, RN, CCM, Nurse Case Manager for Broadspire

Ms. Wilchinsky went above and beyond the call of duty in her rapid response to an explosion at a local chemical plant that resulted in catastrophic injuries to a number of employees including bone fractures, hearing loss, first degree burns, smoke inhalation, respiratory failures, and traumatic hyperglycemia. Upon receiving the call, she quickly went to the hospital and worked diligently to put the employees and their families at ease with regards to their medical care and their rights under workers’ compensation, providing emotional support and thoroughly answering all questions expressed by the workers and family members.

URAC’s 2013 Health Care Stars! Awards were open to any individuals who work for the more than 600 organizations that have earned or are in the process of earning URAC accreditation. The Awards were judged by a panel of health care industry experts including URAC advisory committee members, board members and key leaders from across the industry. The panel reviewed all of the nominations, looking for specific accomplishments and clear results that the nominee had made a positive impact on the health of the consumers they serve.

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For 25 years, URAC has been the independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, education, and measurement. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in health care and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care.

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