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United Wisconsin Services Expands Senior Management Team to Focus On Internet Marketing and Acquisitions.

Business Editors, Health Writers

MILWAUKEE, Wis.--(BW HealthWire)--Jan. 10, 2000

United Wisconsin Services, Inc. (NYSE: UWZ) has announced the creation of two new senior management positions as part of the company's growth strategy. The positions will expand United Wisconsin's Internet marketing initiatives and increase the pace of acquisitions of new companies. United Wisconsin has named Cathy Harvey senior vice president of Marketing and Michael Bernstein senior vice president of Acquisitions and Strategic Planning.

Thomas R. Hefty, chairman, president and chief executive officer of United Wisconsin and its affiliate, Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin said, "In our rapidly changing and competitive health care environment both new positions are essential as we focus on projects that result in profitable growth for the combined companies through more concentrated Internet marketing activities and acquisitions."

As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Cathy Harvey will build on the successes of United Wisconsin's HealthNet Connection, the state's first comprehensive online health statistics database, by developing Internet marketing capabilities, focusing initially on group health care products and services. She also will be responsible for developing the post-merger branding and distribution strategy. Before joining United Wisconsin, Harvey was vice president of Health Services Operations/Delivery Systems Management at United HealthCare's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. Prior to that, she worked for William M. Mercer's Provider Consulting Practice and Towers Perrin Integrated Health Systems Consulting, advising large employer coalitions, provider groups and managed care organizations on product development, sales and business strategies. Harvey began her career in underwriting and product management with ReliaStar in Minneapolis and holds a master's degree in Health Care Management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Strategic Planning, Michael Bernstein will focus on acquisitions that help United Wisconsin expand its national presence in specialty services operations and build the company's HMO business regionally. Bernstein rejoins United Wisconsin after four years in an integrated health care provider system, most recently serving as executive vice president for the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, the largest medical group in the state. He began working at Blue Cross & Blue Shield in 1987 as an attorney and became director of Provider Contracting for its affiliate, CompcareBlue in 1989. Bernstein also served as regional vice president for the Southwestern Region of Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin. He holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin is awaiting approval from the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to convert from a service insurance corporation to a stock company. As previously announced, the Board of Directors of Blue Cross has appointed a special committee to explore a possible merger or other business combination with United Wisconsin Services after the conversion is completed.

United Wisconsin Services, Inc. is one of the nation's leading managed care companies, serving 1.8 million lives in 41 states. Headquartered in Milwaukee, United Wisconsin Services operates Wisconsin's largest Health Maintenance Organization system. The company also has substantial Specialty Managed Care Insurance Products and Specialty Managed Care Services operations.

The Specialty Managed Care Insurance Products division features a large dental HMO, group life and disability insurance and workers' compensation products. Specialty Managed Care Services include managed behavioral health, health care information processing, consulting and cost containment, case management, health care accounts receivables, and prescription drug services. United Wisconsin Services' Internet address is www.uwz.com

Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin is the state's largest health insurer. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Blue Cross also operates regional service centers in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, Evansville, and Stevens Point. The company offers a flexible product portfolio with a broad range of options for small, medium and large groups, as well as individual plans for people who don't have access to group coverage. The Blue Cross Internet address is www.bcbsuw.org

The United Wisconsin and Blue Cross sponsored HealthNet Connection Internet site address is www.healthnetconnect.net
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 10, 2000
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