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COMMUNITY MUTUAL ESTABLISHES CANCER CARE PROGRAM TO ASSIST PATIENTS AND COORDINATE CARE;

 Community Mutual is Among the Leaders in Ohio to Introduce the
 Comprehensive, Integrated Approach to Cancer Care
 CINCINNATI, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Community Mutual Insurance Company today unveiled a new program -- the Cancer Care Program -- designed to enhance the quality of care for its customers.
 The Cancer Care Program is part of a pilot program being launched by 10 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans nationwide, and will combine techniques of case management -- in which trained medical specialists work directly with patients and their physicians -- intensive patient education, and closer collaboration with hospitals.
 "There is evidence that cancer patients experience less anxiety and are better able to resume their normal daily routines when they are well- informed and fully aware of the appropriate treatment options available to them," said Joseph Berman, M.D., Community Mutual's vice president of Clinical Affairs.
 "Typically, case management techniques have been used primarily with patients with catastrophic illnesses, or in the end stages of a patient's disease," added Berman. "The case management component of this new program is much different. It focuses on acting as a patient advocate from the beginning of the illness, when the patient is first diagnosed with cancer."
 In its early stages, the Cancer Care Program will target patients suffering from prostate and breast cancer, which are statistically the most common cancer diagnoses for men and women, respectively, among Community Mutual subscribers.
 The program also will involve selected hospitals in Community Mutual's managed care networks, and will focus on ensuring that all cancer treatment programs meet national standards.
 The initiative parallels the managed care component of health care reform. "Insurance companies are working with physicians and hospitals more effectively to organize and deliver care. The Cancer Care Program will forward that philosophy while helping to improve cancer care," explained Berman.
 Specifically, Community Mutual's pilot Cancer Care Program will:
 -- Expand the scope of case management to assist patients at the time of clinical diagnosis and throughout the course of their disease;
 -- Work with hospitals in Community Mutual's managed care networks to improve their capacity to manage patients with cancer;
 -- Educate members about local and national cancer treatment information and support resources.
 Berman said Community Mutual would work with all members of the cancer care community in implementing the program.
 Community Mutual is the largest health insurer in Ohio with more than 2 million customers and nearly $2 billion in 1992 premium and premium equivalents.
 -0- 10/14/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Both hospital and patient sources can be made available to talk about the value of the program. Dr. Berman also is available for interviews./
 /CONTACT: Erik Kirkhorn of Community Mutual Insurance Company, 513-872-8469/


CO: Community Mutual Insurance Company ST: Ohio IN: INS HEA SU: PDT

AR-SM -- CL019 -- 2170 10/14/93 11:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1993
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