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HEALTHPARTNERS, PARK NICOLLET SIGN LONG-TERM AGREEMENT

 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Park Nicollet Medical Center and HealthPartners announced today the signing of a new long-term contract that includes health maintenance organization (HMO) and preferred provider organization (PPO) services and the creation of integrated service networks (ISN) in early 1994.
 The agreement provides for a formal relationship between Park Nicollet and HealthPartners -- the parent company of Group Health, Inc., and MedCenters Health Plan -- and will continue the strategic partnership initiated more than 20 years ago between Park Nicollet and MedCenters.
 "Carefully chosen relationships with long-term partners is the key to providing our patients with high-quality, cost-effective care," said Charles L. Jacobson, M.D., Park Nicollet president and chief executive officer. "We consider this to be an anchor relationship with an extremely strong and competent partner."
 "Park Nicollet was a key player in the creation of HealthPartners and is a central part of our future direction," said George C. Halvorson, HealthPartners president and chief executive officer. "We are delighted to have this long-term relationship finalized and look forward to a productive future together."
 The agreement creates the framework for the development of an integrated service network (ISN), an organized partnership of physicians and hospitals that arranges for health care benefits and services. ISNs will be accountable for the efficient delivery of quality health care which will result in lower costs and better health. ISNs were created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1993 to restructure Minnesota health care to make it more efficient and affordable.
 "Our contract is important because buyers want a stable care system and long-term commitments, particularly as they create longer-term agreements with us," said Mary K. Brainerd, HealthPartners senior vice president and MedCenters Health Plan executive director and chief operating officer. "Members don't want changes in their health plans to disrupt relationships with their physicians."
 For the past year, HealthPartners and Park Nicollet have worked closely with the Business Health Care Action Group to provide health care services to 19 of Minnesota's largest corporations. As part of this joint effort, HealthPartners and Park Nicollet joined with Mayo Clinic to form the Institute for Clinical Systems Integration, a not- for-profit organization committed to the application of continuous quality improvement approaches in health care.
 Park Nicollet Medical Center is one of the largest multispecialty group practices in the United States. More than 370 physicians and 2,000 health care professionals provide care in 45 specialties and subspecialties at 19 Twin Cities metropolitan locations.
 HealthPartners is the parent company of a family of health plans and health-related companies. Formed through the 1992 affiliation of Group Health, Inc., and MedCenters Health Plan, HealthPartners is the largest managed health care organization in Minnesota, representing more than 580,000 members.
 -0- 9/10/93
 /CONTACT: Amy Pak of Park Nicollet, 612-927-3740 or Sara McFee of HealthPartners, 612-883-5301/


CO: HealthPartners; Park Nicollet Medical Center ST: Minnesota IN: HEA SU:

DS-DB -- MN008 -- 0745 09/10/93 12:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1993
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