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ACCESS HEALTH ESTABLISHES NEW DIVISION; INTRODUCES TWO MANAGED CARE PRODUCTS

 ACCESS HEALTH ESTABLISHES NEW DIVISION;
 INTRODUCES TWO MANAGED CARE PRODUCTS
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Addressing the need for more effective ways to manage health care costs, Access Health Marketing (NASDAQ: ACCS) today announced that it has established a new division to develop and market products to the self-insured employer and managed care/insurer markets. The company is introducing two innovative products, Personal Health Advisor(TM) and the Access Care Management System(TM), that will expand the company's reach into the estimated $7.5 billion annual health care cost management market. Access Health has reached agreements with several initial customers for these products.
 These products are designed to reduce health care costs and improve member satisfaction by providing information to employees and members of managed care plans to help them make more informed health care choices. Employees and members of managed care plans are provided access to a customized, toll-free number to speak with a registered nurse about health care problems on a 24-hour basis. Specially trained nurse counselors provide callers with health information, nursing assessment and decision counseling services to assist them in making the most appropriate and cost-effective medical care decisions.
 "We believe that informed and educated consumers are critical in controlling health care costs," said Kenneth B. Plumlee, president and chief executive officer. "Managed care has focused primarily on controlling the supply of and access to health care services. Our new products are designed to increase the effectiveness of managed care by directly addressing demand for health care services.
 "By providing employees with a comprehensive source of information, our products are designed to improve the effectiveness of health care by empowering people to make health care choices that result in reduction of inappropriate or unnecessary care, while improving member satisfaction," Plumlee added.
 "Establishing our new division indicates the depth of our commitment to building an aggressive sales and marketing effort, continuing product development and support to properly introduce these products," he said.
 Access Health has reached agreements with several initial customers for these new products including a large West Coast managed care company. These agreements are expected to represent significant revenues over the next 12 to 18 months.
 Designed primarily for large self-insured employers, Personal Health Advisor is an integrated program through which employers can provide employees and their families with a single source of information about their medical care options in a wide variety of situations. The major components include general health information featuring self-care guidelines; non-diagnostic nursing assessment for immediate health care decisions; and Health Events Counseling(TM) for individuals facing major health care decisions, such as surgery or other treatments. The product also provides assistance in selecting physicians and other services within the organization's health care plan.
 In addition to providing direct access to a registered nurse counselor, the product features a sophisticated Audio Health Library(TM) system that allows the caller to select audio-text delivery of more than 400 health information topics. A utilization tracking system measures specific program cost containment results and employee or member satisfaction.
 Access Health is introducing the Access Care Management System for managed care organizations and insurers to help contain costs and improve subscriber satisfaction by making information about options for medical care accessible to plan members. The system contains many elements of the Personal Health Advisor but in a modular format that allows insurers and managed care organizations to customize the program to meet their own particular product needs.
 Access Health is a leading provider of demand management programs and services for the health care industry. Its health information and referral programs and services include the ASK-A-NURSE(R) program, the most widely used such program in the United States.
 -0- 11/6/92
 /CONTACT: John E. Gebhart III of Access Health Marketing, 916-851-4000; or Craig A. Parsons of Pondel Parsons & Wilkinson, 310-207-9300, for Access Health Marketing/
 (ACCS) CO: Access Health Marketing ST: California IN: HEA SU:


KJ-JB -- LA005 -- 8057 11/06/92 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 6, 1992
Words:658
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