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COMMUNITY MUTUAL, OHIO'S LARGEST HEALTH INSURER, HELPS FOUND NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Community Mutual Insurance Company, Ohio's largest health insurance company, today joined with eight other major health insurance companies across the United States to form the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), an innovative new program to provide high-quality research and information on key national health care issues.
 "For several years, Community Mutual has taken a leadership role in health care reform and in developing innovative health care benefits programs," said Dwane R. Houser, chairman and CEO of Community Mutual. "We believe that working toward health care reform is in the best interest of our policyholders and the general public.
 "Now," Houser said, "we have joined forces with other forward- looking insurance companies to help the national health care reform effort in the best way we know how: providing top quality research on critical issues in the health care reform debate."
 The creation of the National Institute for Health Care Management was announced at a news conference. At the same time, institute founders released results of their initial research: a poll commissioned by the NIHCM and conducted by the respected Louis Harris & Associates, to identify key areas in which policymakers need additional information to evaluate health care reform proposals.
 The Louis Harris survey of 100 Congressional staff members an 150 health care experts found that seven in 10 policymakers acknowledge they have an absence of good data on key issues needed to evaluate the impact of the Clinton Administration's health care reform proposal as well as other reform proposals.
 Bob Leitman, executive vice president of Louis Harris & Associates, said, "Overall, we found a pervasive sense that policymakers have significant gaps in the knowledge base needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposals that will be put before them and to make judgments about many of the most critical elements of managed care and managed competition systems."
 Most startling of the findings was that more than half of these health policymakers do not have enough information to understand what is meant by "managed care," a key element of the Clinton reform proposal. In addition, more than half of those surveyed said that conflicting information provided by different sources was a problem for them.
 Houser said Community Mutual was particularly eager to be a part of the founding of the NIHCM because, "it will be able to improve the delivery of health care services to all citizens by providing reliable and accurate information on how a stable, effective health care system can be built.
 "Our company's commitment to managed care is based in large measure on our belief that by teaming up with quality-oriented health care providers, we can offer to businesses throughout Ohio innovative health care programs that will provide their employees and their families with high-quality health care, while helping to control the rising cost of that care," Houser said.
 "This same commitment is the reason we have worked hard to develop partnerships with statewide organizations, local Chambers of Commerce and consortiums of employers to develop programs that closely follow the health insurance purchasing cooperative concept believed to be a keystone of the Clinton administration's health care reform proposal," he said.
 In addition to Community Mutual, charter members of the Institute are:
 Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Little Rock, Ark.;
 The Associated Group, Indianapolis;
 Blue Cross of California, Los Angeles;
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Richardson, Texas;
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia, Richmond, Va.;
 Veritus, Inc., Pittsburgh;
 Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.;
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Lora Peters of Community Mutual, 513-872-8192/


CO: Community Mutual Insurance Co.; National Institute for Health Care
 Management ST: Ohio IN: INS SU:


AR -- CL009 -- 9695 09/08/93 10:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993
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