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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA AND HEALTHSPAN PARTNER TO SERVE 3M EMPLOYEES IN MINNESOTA

 ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- 3M (NYSE: MMM), Maplewood, Minn., has awarded Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSM) and HealthSpan Health Systems Corporation one of the contracts to manage its health care network in Minnesota beginning Jan. 1, 1994. BCBSM was also awarded a contract to manage health care networks in California and Texas on behalf of 3M.
 "3M invested an incredible amount of time looking at its employee health care options in each state in anticipation of moving toward managed care plans," said Joe Thompson, 3M director of benefits. "We are taking this initiative very seriously and choosing programs that will benefit our employees nationwide."
 "This is an exciting expansion of our current service to 3M," said Andy Czajkowski, BCBSM president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased that 3M endorses our leadership in managed care and our approach to managing health care benefits. Expanding statewide in Minnesota, and to Texas and California will give 3M continuity in its health plan offerings and will allow BCBSM to demonstrate its network management expertise on a larger scale.
 "By working with HealthSpan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Blue Shield of California, we can assure that 3M employees will receive the most cost-effective and quality care available."
 The new PPO plan offered by BCBSM in partnership with HealthSpan replaces AWARE Gold. A PPO allows members to choose their health care services from a group of providers within the PPO who have agreed to furnish those services.
 This new network will be a meld of BCBSM's Blue Plus network and HealthSpan's network of providers.
 By combining strengths, HealthSpan and BCBSM can work more closely together to improve the quality and cost of health care for 3M employees in Minnesota. BCBSM brings its state-of-the-art data management capabilities, its proven managed care model with Blue Plus, and its network management experience to the partnership. HealthSpan brings its network of doctors and its hospitals -- including Abbott Northwestern, United, Mercy and Unity hospitals in the Twin Cities -- its clinical quality improvement expertise and its reputation for delivering high- quality, cost-effective medical services.
 "Because of the recent merger that created HealthSpan, we are able to offer 3M employees greater depth and breadth of care," said Gordon Sprenger, executive officer of HealthSpan. "Our commitment to standardization of practice guidelines and outcomes measurement will ensure consistent, high quality care for 3M employees at clinics and hospitals conveniently located throughout the state. In partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, we look forward to bringing the combined strength of our two organizations to serve 3M employees."
 BCBSM, a leader in managed care and quality measurement, is the state's oldest and largest health plan. Currently, more than 1.2 million members are covered by BCBSM health plans or plans administered by the company.
 HealthSpan Health Systems Corporation, an integrated health services organization based in Minneapolis, encompasses physicians through its Group Practice Organization and network of providers as well as hospitals, clinics and health-related services throughout Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
 -0- 9/16/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Heymans, 612-456-8786; Karl Oestreich, 612-456-1502; or Judy Kerry, 612-456-1515; all of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; or Carol Hobart of HealthSpan, 612-574-7850/
 (MMM)


CO: 3M; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; HealthSpan Health
 Systems Corporation ST: Minnesota IN: INS MTC SU: JVN CON


KH-DB -- MN006 -- 2661 09/16/93 11:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1993
Words:566
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