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CHARTER MEDICAL ACQUIRES STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE, INC., LEADING DEVELOPER OF PSYCHIATRIC CLINICAL OUTCOME MONITORING SYSTEMS

 Acquisition Will Allow Charter to Evaluate and Document to Payors
 The Effectiveness of Psychiatric and Behavioral Treatment Programs
 MACON, Ga., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Charter Medical Corporation (AMEX: CMD) announced today that it has acquired Strategic Advantage, Inc. (SAI), a privately held company based in Minneapolis, which is a leading provider of clinical outcome monitoring in the behavioral health field.
 Terms of the acquisition were not released. Since 1991, SAI has assisted Charter in data gathering and outcome monitoring systems.
 Charter said that it is committed to maintaining SAI as an independent evaluation organization, and that it will support the rapid expansion of SAI as the nation's primary provider of behavioral health outcomes measurement. Charter and SAI also agreed to continue to assure the privacy of all client data gathered by SAI.
 Charter said that the acquisition of SAI will help Charter solidify its expertise in managing the cost and quality of behavioral health care services. Charter also anticipates that SAI's outcomes monitoring work will develop into care and treatment predictive systems which will help clinicians track and move patients appropriately through different care settings and allow third party payors, such as insurance companies, to more accurately gauge beneficiary outlays.
 Mac Crawford, Charter's chairman and president, said: "Under all health care reform proposals, a key component is the use of clinical outcomes as a performance indicator. In the behavioral health area, these outcome measurements are still in their infancy. Charter and SAI will play a leading role in fully developing this important field, to the benefit of our patients, affiliated health care professionals, managed care partners and state and local governments."
 Murray Naditch, CEO of SAI, said: "Charter's foresight and demonstrated willingness to invest in our future provides SAI with the resources we need to serve our clients more effectively. We are accelerating our timetable for full-utilization of our national outcomes database so that we can provide normative standards to our clients, and push the frontiers of scientific knowledge about how to match patients with the treatment that will be most effective for them. Our association with Charter is also enabling us to move forward in the application of advanced technologies to our outcome measuring systems."
 The outcome monitoring system measures improvements in psychiatric symptoms in work, school and social functioning. The program tracks the use of psychiatric and medical resources and compliance with discharge plans. The program also measures the severity of each patient's psychiatric symptoms at admission, at discharge and at six months following discharge.
 Reports are available at several levels including by treatment program, healthcare facility and geographic region. Data from each facility is assured confidentiality and will be compared with normative data from Strategic Advantage's national data base.
 Charter Medical is an international health care provider and operates 75 behavioral health systems in the U.S. and Europe.
 Strategic Advantage, Inc. is a Minneapolis-based company which assists providers in assessing the quality of behavioral health care. The firm also develops programs to match patients with effective treatment programs.
 -0- 1/10/94
 /CONTACT: Investors: Nancy Gore, 912-742-1161, or Media: Andrew Brimmer, 212-484-7754, both of Charter Medical, or Dr. Murray Naditch of Strategic Advantage, 612-374-5995/
 (CMD)


CO: Charter Medical Corporation; Strategic Advantage, Inc. ST: Georgia, Minnesota IN: HEA SU: TNM

BN-CF -- AT001 -- 0431 01/10/94 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 10, 1994
Words:551
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