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AETNA EXPANDS MANAGED WORKERS' COMPENSATION SERVICES

 AETNA EXPANDS MANAGED WORKERS' COMPENSATION SERVICES
 HARTFORD, Conn., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Aetna Life & Casualty will


expand its use of managed workers' compensation services in up to 20 states by the end of the year. The services will provide appropriate care to injured employees and help businesses better control their workers' compensation costs, the company said.
 The services include preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and utilization review services. PPOs are networks of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers which, among other services, provide medical services at discounted fees. Utilization review monitors the hospital care and services provided to injured workers to ensure that the treatment paid for is appropriate and necessary.
 Networks will include more than 50,000 physicians, hospitals and other health care providers such as chiropractors and physical therapists. Aetna plans to expand these services to additional states in 1993.
 Aetna's managed workers' compensation services will be provided by Aetna Health Plans, Community Care Network (CCN) Inc. of San Diego, and FOCUS Healthcare Management of Nashville. These firms were selected for the quality of their products and the expertise each brings to controlling workers' compensation claim costs for Aetna customers.
 As part of the program, Aetna will educate its customers and network health care providers on the importance of early notification of injuries, prompt scheduling, case management, and return-to-work programs.
 "Workers' compensation costs are soaring and part of the reason is rapidly rising medical costs," said Michael J. Fanale, assistant vice president in Aetna's claim department.
 "We have found the techniques that have been used successfully in the group health arena for more than a decade can be applied to workers' compensation. This will enable us to better control medical costs, maintain appropriate levels of care and maximize our efforts to return injured employees to work on a timely basis."
 Medical care now accounts for more than 40 percent of the cost of all workers' compensation benefits and will reach 50 percent by the end of the decade, Fanale noted. Yet, workers' compensation is one of the few remaining public or private insurance programs that has not extensively used techniques to manage treatment before medical care is given.
 These enhanced services will be phased in during the rest of 1992 in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
 The program will not affect Aetna's underwriting and marketing strategies in these states. Aetna has stopped writing or significantly reduced its workers' compensation voluntary business in some states. "Even in states where we have reduced our business, we continue to handle claims. We believe the enhancements to our program will help us better control these medical costs," Fanale said.
 "In addition, these services are available to companies that self- insure their workers' compensation risk through Axia Services Inc., one of the Aetna Life & Casualty companies," Fanale said.
 Aetna is the nation's sixth largest writer of workers' compensation insurance, with $1.6 billion in premiums in 1990.
 -0- 7/23/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Norton of Aetna, 203-273-9085/ CO: Aetna Life & Casualty ST: Connecticut IN: INS SU: PDT


SM-PS -- NY058 -- 2515 07/23/92 12:17 EDT
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Date:Jul 23, 1992
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