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AHIP Gives Innovators Award To DeVries

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NU Online News Service, June 30, 2004, 5:07 p.m. EDT

America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, has given its 2004 Innovators Award to George DeVries.[@@]

DeVries is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive of American Specialty Health Inc., San Diego.

AHIP recognized DeVries for establishing the first national specialty benefits insurance company for complementary health care.

The AHIP Innovators Award seeks to recognize industry leaders who demonstrate “innovation and excellence in designing and implementing health care services and financing that meet the changing needs of consumers, and whose projects, products, services, and contributions lead to true industry advancement.”

National Underwriter participates in the Innovators Award selection committee.

DeVries helped found ASH in 1987, working from a second bedroom in his home. Since then, ASH has grown to become the nation’s largest complementary health care services organization. It generates about $100 million in annual revenue and has more than 70 million program members. It also has more than 500 employees, more than 28,000 contracted providers and more than 60 contracted health plans.

In 1994, the company’s California unit became the first organization in both California and the nation to obtain a specialized health plan license for chiropractic. In 1997, the unit became the first organization to get a health plan license for acupuncture.

ASH also obtained the nation’s first accreditation as a chiropractic and acupuncture health plan and network from URAC, Washington.

ASH bought a life insurance company in 2001 and now has the ability to sell insured complementary health plans in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

DeVries has served on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He now is chairman of the National Association of Specialty Health Organizations, Jeffersonville, Ind.