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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MARYLAND ANNOUNCES CONTRACT WITH EDS

 BALTIMORE, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland has announced that EDS will assume operation of the insurer's LifeCard division. The LifeCard division transmits 5.8 million claims annually via its electronic network, currently 30 percent of the insurer's total claim volume.
 Current LifeCard operations will continue in Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Owings Mills, Md. location and all of LifeCard's employees will be offered employment with EDS.
 "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland welcomes this association with EDS," said Senior Vice President Thomas J. Higgins. "We're confident that the continued expansion of our 'paperless' claims transmission will help us contain administrative costs and provide more efficient service to our subscribers and providers. We selected EDS based on its financial stability and knowledge of the health care industry."
 Filing claims electronically instead of through traditional paper-based methods creates cost savings up to $5 per claim, according to a recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study.
 EDS will upgrade the existing LifeCard system to an advanced electronic data interchange technology. Once the enhancement is completed, the technology will be used in the Maryland Health Information Network, a network operated by EDS that could transmit more than 25 million managed care transactions annually, including claims processing, eligibility verification and remittance status requests. Future plans include the opening of a separate Maryland Health Information Network office to direct sales and marketing efforts aimed at attracting new provider and payor members, as well as focus on customer service activities.
 The Maryland Health Information Network will eventually expand into an "all-player," statewide network on which all payors, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and others can file insurance claims and exchange health information. This concept is a key element in health care reform packages submitted to Congress and proposals articulated by authorities such as The Jackson Hole Group, the architects of the managed competition concept.
 "An all-player electronic data network is at the forefront of the health care reform movement, providing significant cost savings along with a more efficient and error-free method of information processing," said Alice Lusk, corporate vice president and group executive for EDS' Insurance business. "Using technology to better manage health care- related information is key to controlling costs and improving the quality of care. This agreement reflects a shared vision between EDS and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland."
 EDS has formed alliances with CIS Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CISI), a Tulsa, Okla.-based public corporation, and Health Information Technologies, Inc., (Princeton, N.J.) to implement the network. Health Information Technologies is the developer and operator of Health Link(R), an electronic communications network connecting insurers and doctors. CIS Technologies is a prominent provider of reimbursement management services in the United States, with more than 500 hospital clients in 32 states.
 EDS is the largest provider of information technology and management services to the health care industry, with more than 30 years of experience in serving this market. EDS has operations in more than 30 countries, employs more than 70,000 people and is the leader in applying information technology to meet the needs of businesses and governments around the globe. EDS employs approximately 300 people in Maryland and anticipates expansion of its local workforce as the Maryland Health Information Network expands.
 Stock reflecting EDS' performance is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GME. EDS reported revenues of $8.2 billion in 1992.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland is a non-profit health insurance company, serving more than 1.4 million people in the state of Maryland. The company offers various types of health insurance to individuals and groups throughout the state. In addition, the company provides health care to more than 250,000 Marylanders through its four health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Still of EDS, 214-661-6188, or Mike Streissguth of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, 410-998-5681/


CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland ST: Maryland IN: HEA SU: CON

TS -- NY054 -- 9415 02/23/93 12:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 23, 1993
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