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TRAVELERS EXECUTIVE URGES CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR STREAMLINED ADMINISTRATION

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressional support for laws promoting administrative simplification in the health care industry is a crucial part of health care reform, a leading managed care executive told a U.S. Senate


subcommittee today.
 "The Travelers (NYSE: TIC) recognizes that streamlined administration is essential to any reform package enacted by Congress," said Elliot F. Gerson, president of Travelers' Managed Care and Employee Benefits Operations, in testimony before the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Regulation and Government Information. The hearing was held to examine ways electronic information systems could be used to improve services to citizens.
 "Congress will be challenged to write laws that provide clear direction and incentives while making them flexible enough to permit the use of advancing technology without requiring a change in laws or lengthy regulatory processes," he said.
 Gerson told the subcommittee that the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a private/public sector coalition working to streamline administration and reduce costs in the health care system, has developed a set of recommendations that "can go a long way toward creating the standards infrastructure and the incentives needed to greatly increase the volume of claims handled electronically."
 "WEDI has developed a blueprint for administrative savings in record time and with historic consensus," he said. "What WEDI has developed and endorsed is significant and the return will be enormous -- in terms of less cost, improved accuracy, less hassle, better care and a more secure environment for privacy."
 Currently there are an estimated 4.8 billion claim transactions annually, with more than 80 percent handled on paper. The 1992 WEDI Report established time frames for moving the health care industry from the 458 different electronic standards currently in use to one-standard for all. In a more recent report issued in November of this year, WEDI called for model Congressional legislation that will protect the privacy and confidentiality of individual health care information and the implementation of electronic data interchange by major players in the system by the end of 1996.
 -0- 12/2/93
 /CONTACT: Dan Kaferle of The Travelers, 203-277-4583/
 (TIC)


CO: The Travelers Corporation ST: District of Columbia, Connecticut IN: INS HEA SU:

JL-DJ -- NE012 -- 9868 12/02/93 13:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 2, 1993
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