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HEALTHCARE COMPARE CORP. AND WELLPOINT HEALTH NETWORKS, INC. ANNOUNCE PPO NETWORK AGREEMENT

 WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. and DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint Health Networks, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) and HealthCare COMPARE Corp. (NASDAQ: HCCC) have announced the signing of a letter of agreement that will extend WellPoint's provider networks nationwide and provide a complete health care delivery network outside operations in California. The new alliance will add approximately 100,000 physicians and 1,350 hospitals nationwide for The AFFORDABLE Medical Networks to WellPoint's California network of 34,000 physicians and 470 hospitals. HealthCare COMPARE Corp., headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill., was selected from among several competitors for their provider network strengths.
 Ron Williams, WellPoint's executive vice president of Group Services, said, "WellPoint set out to establish and market a viable, national preferred provider network made up of doctors and hospitals that would appeal to group clients who have employees not just in California, but nationwide. HealthCare COMPARE Corp. demonstrated the characteristics we were looking for."
 James C. Smith, president and CEO of HealthCare COMPARE Corp., noted that he was extremely pleased with the signing of the agreement since WellPoint serves many large employers headquartered in California who have employees residing throughout the country. Those employers will now have the opportunity to take advantage of managed care savings derived from The AFFORDABLE Medical Networks.
 Williams remarked that the program will be fully operational by Oct. 1, 1993. "The extension of provider networks nationwide will allow us to better serve California based companies by providing a single point of administration and accountability for their employees across the country. In addition, those employees who are headquartered outside California and have a large contingency of employees in California will also be able to access this new network," said Williams. According to Dunn's Market Data report for June 1993, California headquartered companies have an estimated 1.7 million employees working outside the state.
 HealthCare COMPARE Corp. is America's leading independent provider of medical cost management services and offer the most comprehensive managed care programs available. COMPARE provides utilization management (COMPARE Medical Review Programs), computer assisted bill review and pricing service (OUCH Systems) and negotiation of fixed price contracts with medical providers to develop and maintain preferred provider networks (The AFFORDABLE Medical Networks) for the exclusive use of its clients.
 WellPoint Health Network, Inc. is the largest for-profit managed health care company in California, serving over two million members through one of the largest provider networks in the state. WellPoint's networks include HMO, PPO and specialty managed care network through which the company offers a comprehensive array of managed health care plans throughout the state.
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: James C. Smith, president and CEO, or Joseph E. Whitters, chief financial officer, both of HealthCare COMPARE Corp., 708-241-7900; or Michael Chee, (media), 818-703-2703; or John Cygul (investors), both of WellPoint Health Networks, Inc., 818-703-4321/
 (HCCC WLP)


CO: HealthCare COMPARE Corp.; WellPoint Health Networks, Inc. ST: Illinois, California IN: HEA SU:

TM-MG -- NY108 -- 4857 07/22/93 18:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 22, 1993
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