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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NEW JERSEY AND AMERICAN EXPRESS ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP HEALTH CARE PAYMENT SERVICE

 NEWARK, N.J., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross anB?lue Shield of New Jersey, Inc. and American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (TRS) today announced an agreement to develop a health care payment service which will facilitate the billing and payment of out-of-pocket expenses for Blue Cross and Blue Shield subscribers and providers.
 The service -- "Quattro" -- will be offered to selected Blue Cross and Blue Shield group members and providers, beginning in 1993, and is scheduled to be phased in later for other Blue Cross and Blue Shield customers, including individuals.
 To use the service, Blue Cross and Blue Shield subscribers who visit a doctor or hospital participating in Quattro will simply identify themselves as Quattro participants under their employer's health plan.
 Participating health care providers will send claims directly to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for processing, as they currently do. Blue Cross and Blue Shield determines the portion of charges the plan pays and the balance owed by the patient, if any. Blue Cross and Blue Shield then pays the provider for the entire amount of the allowable expenses, including the patient's portion on behalf of American Express.
 American Express will reimburse Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the patient's portion of the payment advanced to the provider, and bill the subscriber for any co-insurance, deductibles or uncovered services on an easy-to-read, consolidated monthly statement which includes explanation of benefits information.
 "Quattro will be a significant enhancement to Blue Cross and Blue Shield policyholders and participating providers, particularly as the health care industry moves to managed care coverages which require increased cost-sharing by policyholders," said Dennis F. Marco, vice president-corporate communications, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey Inc.
 "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey to streamline health care billing and payment processes," said Mary F. Miller, senior vice president and general manager-Quattro, American Express TRS. "We applaud Blue Cross and Blue Shield's leadership in bringing value added services to its customers."
 Initially, plans call for the service to be offered to Blue Cross and Blue Shield subscribers and providers in nine North Jersey counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren. About 82,000 selected Blue Cross and Blue Shield group members will be eligible to utilize the Quattro service when it first becomes available.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield is New Jersey's largest health insurer, providing coverage for 2.3 million people. The non-profit insurance organization has annual revenues of $2.5 billion.
 American Express TRS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express Company (NYSE: AXP), is a family of travel, financial and communications businesses.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Fred Hillman of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey Inc., 201-466-8755, or Bill Moss of American Express TRS, 212-640-2897/
 (AXP)


CO: American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.; Blue Cross
 and Blue Shield of New Jersey Inc. ST: New Jersey, New York IN: HEA SU: PDT


LD -- NY004 -- 2809 03/04/93 09:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1993
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