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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF S.C. REACHES AGREEMENT WITH ACCESS HEALTH TO PROVIDE PERSONAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT SERVICES

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Access Health Marketing Inc. (NASDAQ: ACCS) today announced that it has agreed to provide personal health management services to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, the state's largest -- and one of the nation's strongest -- health insurers.
 "The alliance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina marks a strategic initiative by a dominant East Coast insurer to address the demand-side of the market," said Kenneth B. Plumlee, president and chief executive officer of Access Health Marketing Inc. "As health care reform focuses on individual responsibility and accountability, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina is taking a leadership role in applying personal health management strategies across its health plans."
 Access Health will deliver its Personal Health Advisor(TM) service to members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina. Personal Health Advisor is a telephone-based consumer health care information membership program staffed around-the-clock by registered nurses that provide a broad range of information services to help consumers with every aspect of managing their health -- from education and prevention to assistance in making informed decisions about using health care services, aid in selecting physicians and other healthcare providers.
 Services will initially be provided to 25,000 of the nearly one million members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina health plans, with plans to roll out to additional groups within the next 12 months. Additionally, Access Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield will form a strategic partnership designed to expand the use of innovative demand management services.
 "Reducing utilization and cost, while increasing the quality of service and care we deliver, is of primary importance to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina," said Vickie Axsom-Brown, vice president of medical services. "After an exhaustive review of several competitive programs, we found Access Health had the strongest platform of products and services to meet our clinical and information systems needs. They also share our strong commitment to proactive preventive care."
 "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina intends to utilize Access Health's products across all of our health plan applications, including indemnity (fee-for-service) plans, HMO and PPO managed care plans, as well as other risk contracts," continued Axsom-Brown.
 The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina agreement is scheduled for implementation beginning Nov. 1, 1993.
 Access Health programs and services help managed care organizations, self-insured employers and hospitals by providing personal health management services. Its health information, prevention and care management programs are designed to improve patient access, reduce costs and promote individual responsibility for managing health.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina is the state's largest health insurer and a leader in managed care and a major government contractor.
 -0- 9/27/93
 CONTACT: John E. Gebhart III of Access Health, 916-851-4000; or Kevin Patsel of White & Cromer, 415-274-8105, for Access Health/
 (ACCS)


CO: Access Health Marketing Inc.; White & Cromer ST: California, South Carolina IN: HEA SU:

PK-LH -- SF003 -- 5833 09/27/93 10:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993
Words:503
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