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BLUE CROSS REWARDS HOSPITALS AND CLINICS FOR COST-SAVING PRACTICES

 MILWAUKEE, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (BC&BSU) has recognized Wisconsin health care providers with outstanding records of claims submission practices with its second annual Provider Awards of Excellence. The awards were issued to five hospitals and five clinics throughout the state.
 Essie Whitelaw, president of BC&BSU, explained that the awards serve as a benchmark of performance for the entire provider community in Wisconsin. "The Provider Awards of Excellence demonstrate how streamlining procedures can translate into cost containment, while actually improving the quality of the claims submission process for the consumer," explained Whitelaw.
 The hospitals and clinics are ranked according to these criteria: timeliness (the average number of days from date of service to claims submission and the number of days from receipt of claim to processing), efficiency (the percentage of claims submitted electronically and the percentage of duplicate submissions) and accuracy (the percentage of claims requiring adjustment). The hospital and clinic with the highest combined rankings in each of BC&BSU's five regional service areas received the awards.
 The range of performance varied greatly among providers in each of the categories. For example, when measuring timeliness, the average time frame for date of service to claim submission ranged from 8.6 days for the best ranking hospital to 77.86 days for the lowest ranking. However, BC&BSU found that overall performance for each of the three criteria showed improvement over 1991.
 "I believe this improvement is due to an increased awareness of the health care situation by providers. As providers improve their submission services, we can do a better job of processing those claims -- ultimately benefiting all parties involved," said Whitelaw. "These criteria allow Blue Cross to recognize, in a tangible way, those providers who are serious about minimizing red tape and paperwork and maximizing cash flow and service."
 The following hospitals and clinics are the 1992 winners of the Provider Awards of Excellence:
 -- Southeastern Region: St. Luke's Medical Center, Milwaukee
 Milwaukee Medical Clinic, S.C.
 -- Northeastern Region: Appleton Medical Center
 La Salle Clinic, Neenah
 -- North Central Region: St Mary's Hospital, Rhinelander
 Shawano Clinic, S.C
 -- Western Region: Superior Memorial Hospital
 Red Cedar Clinic, S.C., Menomonie
 -- Southwestern Region: Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn
 Janesville Medical Center, Ltd.
 BC&BSU operates regional service centers in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Stevens Point, Eau Claire and Evansville. BC&BSU is the state's largest health insurer. Its corporate headquarters is located in Milwaukee.
 -0- 2/1/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Luljak, director, corporate communications for United Wisconsin Services, 414-226-5756/


CO: Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin ST: Wisconsin IN: MTC INS SU:

KH -- MN016 -- 1442 02/01/93 14:03 EST
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Date:Feb 1, 1993
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