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CATERPILLAR EXPANDS PRESCRIPTION PHARMACY NETWORK TO BETTER SERVE EMPLOYEES, RETIREES

 PEORIA, Ill., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) employees, retirees, and dependents will enjoy access to a nationwide network of more than 35,000 pharmacies and the advantages of high- quality electronic claims processing under improvements announced today in the company's prescription drug program.
 Beginning June 1, prescription drug claims will be handled by a third-party claims processor -- RESTAT of West Bend, Wis. All pharmacies enrolled in the existing Caterpillar participating pharmacy network are being invited to join the RESTAT network. And the more than 35,000 pharmacies in RESTAT's existing nationwide network will be invited to enroll under the Caterpillar plan. The current drug co-pay amounts for covered persons will remain the same.
 The announcement results from a year-long study of options for maintaining a high-quality prescription drug program while controlling drug costs -- the company's fastest rising health care costs. Other options considered included a company-owned pharmacy and limiting the pharmacy network to an exclusive chain of pharmacies.
 "Our goal was to process drug claims at least as effectively as was done by Caterpillar's own prescription drug claims processing department over the past 21 years," said Employee Benefits Manager Richard W. Wright. "RESTAT has the resources and expertise to process our drug claims while offering quality-control services that would be costly for Caterpillar to establish internally," Wright said.
 A major improvement will be expansion of the current Caterpillar network from about 2,200 participating pharmacies located primarily in areas with Caterpillar facilities to more than 35,000 pharmacies nationwide in the RESTAT system.
 By using the RESTAT network, employees and retirees who live outside Caterpillar's existing pharmacy service areas -- as well as those who need prescriptions filled while vacationing or traveling -- no longer will need to file claim forms with the company and wait for reimbursement. Claims will be processed automatically at the time the prescription is filled.
 "Employees or retirees only will need to present their Caterpillar drug card and make the co-payment," Wright said.
 In addition, as a quality-control measure, the computer system will keep track of all prescription drugs used by each covered person and alert the pharmacist of potential drug interaction problems.
 Caterpillar also has informed pharmacies that basic reimbursement levels will be reduced to bring them in line with competitive rates. The company also will add an incentive payment for the use of generic drugs.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Keith Butterfield, public information of Caterpillar, 309-675-1307/
 (CAT)


CO: Caterpillar Inc. ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

PS -- NY051 -- 8672 03/23/93 12:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 23, 1993
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