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HEALTHEAST CARE AND PREFERREDONE ANNOUNCE NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH 3M FOR AREA EMPLOYEES' HEALTH CARE

 ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthEast Care and PreferredOne today announced that 3M has selected their networks to provide health care services to 3M employees and their families living in the upper Midwest. CIGNA will provide claims administration under the new arrangement.
 "This new direct working relationship exemplifies a new strategic vision for 3M for employee health care benefits," according to Joe Thompson, 3M director of benefits.
 "We feel the future is in long-term direct relationships with high quality health care providers," he said.
 "3M and our employees will be directly involved with providers to meet our mutual goals of cost-effective, high quality, convenient service," Thompson said. "We'll work as a team in unprecedented ways to meet the expectations of our employees and their families. This is a new arrangement which will greatly benefit all parties."
 The HealthEast Care/PreferredOne networks, with a total of 4,580 physicians and 50 hospitals, will provide physician, hospital and other health service coverage throughout Minnesota, and three western Wisconsin counties. CIGNA will do claims administration for these networks via direct claims submission by providers. CIGNA (formerly EQUICOR) has been claims administrator for 3M for the last 20 years. This new claims submission process will be essentially paperless for 3M employees.
 "We're delighted that 3M chose us as a preferred long-term partner in health care services," said Steve Burrows, executive vice president at HealthEast Care. "In a way, it's neighbors working together for a common customer -- 3M employees."
 Providers participating in the HealthEast Care and PreferredOne networks have already been providing care to more than 80 percent of Twin Cities 3M'ers, especially in the east metro area. 3M employees will continue to have access to these providers. Existing physician- patient relationships will not be disrupted in most cases.
 "The philosophies of 3M, PreferredOne and HealthEast Care are compatible," added Marcus Merz, president of PreferredOne. "We believe in long-term working relationships which share accountability for improving health, not just delivering sick care."
 A 3M Quality Improvement Council including 3M employees, representatives of the provider networks, and CIGNA is an innovative vehicle that will be used to promote a "customer friendly system," Burrows explained.
 Another unique feature of the HealthEast Care and PreferredOne networks is a Provider Response Team which will actively work to anticipate and avoid patient-provider issues and will be prepared to respond immediately to problems.
 The new provider networks will be available to 3M employees on Jan. 1, 1994. Open enrollment will occur during the month of October.
 -0- 9/9/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Green, 612-232-2310 or (beeper) 612-650-7347; or Scotty Campbell, 612-232-2254 or (beeper) 612-650-9947; both of HealthEast/


CO: HealthEast Care; PreferredOne; 3M ST: Minnesota IN: INS SU: CON

KH-DB -- MN003 -- 0069 09/08/93 23:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993
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