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 ATLANTA, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), working with the international benefits consulting firm Foster Higgins, has developed a health care benefit program to provide Delta personnel access to some of the finest cardiac care programs in the United States.
 The evaluation team consisted of Delta representatives and Foster Higgins staff, including nationally known cardiologists and managed-care experts. The six programs designated by Delta as Preferred Care Cardiac Centers are The Cleveland Clinic, The Hospital of the Good Samaritan (Los Angeles), LDS Hospital (Salt Lake City), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (Houston), and Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta. Details of the program are expected to be finalized by March 1, 1993.
 "Delta and our team of well-recognized cardiologists studied dozens of cardiac programs and conducted thorough inspections of more than 20 hospitals to identify those programs which would best meet the needs of our personnel," said Maurice W. Worth, Delta's senior vice president - personnel. "Delta's selection of Preferred Care Cardiac Centers nationwide will offer our employees and their eligible family members ease in access to renowned cardiac care programs. Although not selected for this program, the other hospitals Delta considered were very impressive as well and continue to deliver quality health care to our personnel in many other areas of treatment."
 Foster Higgins Managed Care consulting practice Principal Michael Cadger said, "The project team considered quality as the most important criterion in developing this program, and the evaluation process was described by many hospitals as the most comprehensive they have seen. We are confident that the Preferred Care Cardiac Centers are capable of meeting the needs of most Delta employees and their covered dependents."
 Delta evaluated the programs based on numerous criteria. Each contacted hospital provided information and data about its facilities, staff and care as well as statistical results of cardiac procedures performed, credentials of its professional staff and details of its quality assurance programs. During the on-site visits, this information was reviewed and discussed in detail, observations were made and detailed interviews were conducted with the hospital staff involved in cardiac care.
 Delta's Worth added that cardiovascular surgery is one of the fastest growing health care costs and varies significantly in quality. With this new Delta cardiac program, the airline's U.S.-based personnel and their eligible dependents will have access to fine cardiac care at a lower cost than they normally would pay. Financial incentives as well as lodging and transportation assistance will make the centers even more attractive.
 More than 75,000 Delta personnel around the globe operate one of the world's largest air carriers. Delta serves 223 cities in 34 countries with 557 modern aircraft operating 2,798 daily flights.
 -0- 1/21/93
 /CONTACT: Foster Higgins for Delta Air Lines, 404-586-1728, or Delta Public Relations, 404-715-2554/

CO: Delta Air Lines; Cleveland Clinic Foundation ST: Ohio IN: HEA AIR SU:

BM -- CL018 -- 7672 01/21/93 17:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 21, 1993

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