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DEERE & COMPANY, MAYO CLINIC ANNOUNCE SIGNING OF LETTER OF INTENT FOR CREATION OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCE IN MANAGED HEALTH CARE

 MOLINE, Ill., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials of Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) and Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, a corporate affiliate of Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minn., today announced the signing of a letter of intent for the creation of a strategic alliance in the managed health care field.
 Under the terms of the agreement, Deere's managed care subsidiary, John Deere Health Care, Inc., and Mayo will collaborate on a variety of initiatives. This new collaboration builds upon and extends the existing relationship between the two parties that currently includes the development of two primary care facilities for John Deere employees, retirees and their dependents. The first John Deere Family Health Center will open in Moline, Ill., for Quad City-area Deere employees in January 1993, with a second center opening in Waterloo, Iowa, early in 1994.
 A major focus of the strategic alliance will be the development and continuous improvement of Mayo's Disease Management Strategies. These are a series of medical practice guidelines and associated management tools, which will serve as the foundation for medical care provided by the John Deere Family Health Plan, a staff model health maintenance organization (HMO).
 "The Mayo Disease Management Strategies developed through this strategic alliance will assure our patients of the highest quality care," said Richard J. Van Bell, president of John Deere Health Care, Inc. "These strategies will be based on the best medical practice guidelines and clinical insights that Mayo and Deere, working together, can develop. As important, this alliance reflects the conviction of both Mayo and Deere that high-quality health care is the most cost effective health care."
 Disease Management Strategies have already been developed by the two parties for the management of ischemic heart disease, low back pain, biliary tract disease and depression. The new agreement calls for the development of six additional Disease Management Strategies within 18 months, for the treatment of other diseases, such as asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, diseases of the cervix and uterus, hypertension and headache.
 "The strategies, combined with Mayo health sciences research funded in part by Deere, will increase efficiency by reducing duplication of costs and will improve patient care," says Dr. Richard Tompkins, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and chair of Mayo's Regional Planning Group.
 A second element of the strategic alliance provides for Mayo's long- term support of John Deere Health Care with physician and administrative services to be used in the development and operation of additional primary care facilities. Deere continues to evaluate other areas for the possible development of additional John Deere Family Healthplan locations, and the company has received inquiries from a number of other major employers regarding its initiatives.
 "Mayo's support in developing John Deere Family Healthplan has been invaluable," Van Bell said. "In addition to lending their expertise to the development of the Mayo Disease Management Strategies, Mayo will continue to provide support to us in a variety of other clinical and administrative areas."
 The third aspect of the strategic alliance establishes Mayo as a preferred supplier of specialty care for enrollees of John Deere Family Healthplan. Mayo will provide those enrollees a level of access to Mayo and service equivalent to that of Mayo's own regional practices, and Mayo specialists will share medical information and provide consults to Deere physicians.
 "John Deere Health Care is committed to total quality management and patient satisfaction," said Tompkins. "We look forward to maintaining our close working relationship with Deere, an enlightened employer concerned about providing access for its employees to affordable and accountable health care."
 Van Bell said, "Deere is delighted to be joining with Mayo in this new alliance. It allows us to establish a significant and unique relationship to the mutual benefit of both parties, which will ultimately benefit all the enrollees of John Deere Family Healthplan."
 John Deere Health Care, Inc. and its HMO subsidiaries, Heritage National Healthplan, Heritage National Healthplan of Tennessee, and John Deere Family Healthplan provide managed care services in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Tennessee to over 225,000 enrollees.
 -0- 12/22/92
 /CONTACT: Robert J. Combs of Deere & Company, 309-765-5014, or Chris Gade of Mayo Clinic, 507-284-2430/
 (DE)


CO: Deere & Company; Mayo Clinic ST: Illinois, Minneapolis IN: HEA SU: PDT

SM -- NY055 -- 9267 12/22/92 16:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 22, 1992
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