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EMPLOYERS HEALTH, PROSERVICES ANNOUNCE DATA INTERCHANGE AGREEMENT

 MILWAUKEE, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move to streamline health insurance services and be more responsive to consumers, Employers Health Insurance Co. of De Pere and United Wisconsin Proservices Inc. of Milwaukee have entered into a data interchange contract, the firms announced Thursday.
 The agreement will substantially increase the ability of Wisconsin health care consumers to have their claims filed electronically.
 Electronic data interchange (EDI) of medical bills is widely seen as a key method to reduce both administrative overhead and consumer hassle in the health care system.
 Through EDI, medical bills are typically transmitted from a doctor's or hospital's computer to a clearinghouse such as Proservices, then to the insurer's computer, which examines the claims and pays benefits.
 The contract with Proservices, other new data contracts and internal innovations mean that by May Employers Health will receive about 15 percent of its claims through this fast, efficient channel - more than double the industry average.
 Proservices will bring an additional 3,000 to 5,000 electronic claims to Employers Health per week. Within three months the company expects to receive a total of 30,000 electronic claims per week from all its sources.
 Gary Beatty, Employers Health's EDI team leader, said when he talked to Wisconsin doctors and hospitals about EDI prospects he found Proservices was one of the most widely used data clearinghouses in the state. So, to minimize the inconvenience to health care providers, Employers added Proservices to its list of data clearinghouses.
 "Adding a company with the large market presence of Employers means providers have more reason than ever to connect with Proservices," Proservices Sales Manager Dave Fularczyk said.
 After a year of using EDI, about 6 percent of the claims submitted by the customers of Employers Health were processed electronically, according to Beatty. That was about average among the nation's major commercial insurance companies. But several innovations, including the new contract with Proservices, have let Employers take several big steps in the march toward a more efficient, more responsive health care system.
 "EDI cuts a week or more from the time needed to process a typical claim," Beatty said. Claims handled this way can generally be processed for about one-fifth of the cost of manual processing. Beatty added, "claims filed electronically tend to have fewer mistakes or missing information than paper claims." Among all electronic claims, about 19 percent are processed, and a check is issued, without any human intervention, he said.
 Employers Health and Proservices have called for standardized claim forms-the first step in a large-scale EDI system-as a way to reform and improve the American health care system, and reduce its costs.
 Beatty and Fularczyk agreed that as federal and state policy makers search to control health care costs, electronic claims filing is a primary way to reduce administrative costs in the health care system.
 Proservices is a subsidiary of United Wisconsin Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: UWSI), a leading Midwest provider of managed care services and insurance products.
 Employers Health provides health care benefits to groups of all sizes in Wisconsin and to groups of two to 150 nationwide. The ninth largest group health insurer in the nation, Employers also sells a wide range to other employee benefits. Employers is a part of Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE: LNC), based in Fort Wayne, Ind.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Luljak of United Wisconsin Services, Inc., 414-226-5756; or Jon Drayna of Employers Health Insurance, 414-337-5725/
 (LNC UWSI)


CO: United Wisconsin Services, Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: MTC SU: JVN

AL -- MN014 -- 3139 03/04/93 16:17 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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