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BLUE CROSS OF CALIFORNIA JOINS THE NEIC ELECTRONIC HEALTHCARE TRANSACTIONS NETWORK

 SECAUCUS, N.J., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- When Blue Cross of California, serving 5.4 million lives including Medicare recipients, signed an agreement recently with the National Electronic Information Corporation (NEIC), it gained the distinction of being the first Blue Cross program in the United States to join NEIC as a member payor for its private business.
 "This signing represents a significant milestone for our nation's healthcare system, indicating the willingness of all participants -- including commercial insurers, managed care companies and others -- to work together to reduce the overall costs of healthcare," said Kenneth J. O'Donnell, president and CEO of NEIC, the nation's largest electronic healthcare transactions network.
 The addition of Blue Cross of California demonstrates the groundswell of support for EDI in healthcare, underscoring the importance of industrywide cooperation. "Our agreement reinforces the commitment of the private sector to work in tandem with the government and other entities to reduce administrative costs."
 According to Tom Shiebler, director of the Healthcare Transaction Network for Blue Cross of California, "NEIC was selected based upon the potential cost savings, the size and scope of its provider network, and its future on-line, interactive capabilities -- all of which will enable Blue Cross of California to remain competitive in the managed care marketplace."
 Founded in 1937, Blue Cross of California is an independent, non- profit tax paying organization. To date, in 1992, Blue Cross of California has paid out approximately $6.4 billion in healthcare benefits.
 O'Donnell added, "With President-elect Bill Clinton and the new administration committed to reducing the administrative costs of healthcare, EDI will play an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery. It will enable virtually everyone to communicate rapidly and cost-effectively."
 This new relationship with Blue Cross of California will further boost NEIC's electronic claim volume which in October reached a record high of over two million non-governmental claims for the month. "The significant growth of our network positions NEIC as the industry leader which is dedicated to bringing together all players in the system including government, private and non-profit sectors."
 More than 100,000 providers currently submit claims and other associated transactions through NEIC and its network of 475 vendors to member payors, including managed care entities. Taken together, these payors provide healthcare coverage to over 90 million Americans.
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Jodi Kurzweil of NEIC, 201-342-9111~


CO: National Electronic Information Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: HEA SU:

LR-SM -- NY038 -- 1096 11~24~92 13:22 EST
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Date:Nov 24, 1992
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