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MERCY JOINS AETNA MANAGED CARE PLANS

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercy Hospital Inc. and Mercy Medical Group have contracted to be participating providers with the Aetna Health Plans managed care networks.
 Aetna Health Plans, part of Aetna Life & Casualty Co., develops and manages health provider networks in the Charlotte area which cover approximately 40,000 lives.
 The Aetna-Mercy relationship means that subscribers in Aetna's Preferred Provider Organization, including the Open Choice, Elect Choice and Managed Choice products, will have access to Mercy's inpatient and outpatient facilities. In the near future, Aetna subscribers will have access to physicians at Mercy Medical Group offices.
 "Our new relationship with Mercy Hospital and Mercy Medical Group provides better access to convenient care for our subscribers, especially those in south Charlotte," said Patrick Dowd, vice president for Aetna Health Plans in the Carolinas.
 "With the agreement between Aetna Health Plans and Mercy, we can continue to control costs for our clients and offer them a wider choice of healthcare providers."
 Area employers offering Aetna plans to their employees include Wachovia Bank, First Union National Bank, K-Mart, Frito Lay, Mecklenburg County, Paramount Communications and Times-Mirror.
 Mercy Hospital Inc. operates Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, Mercy Hospital South and the Mercy Maternity Center in Pineville, and Mercy's Billingsley Road outpatient rehabilitation and diagnostic facilities.
 Mercy Medical Group is a network of seven primary care physician offices located throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston and York counties.
 Aetna Life & Casualty is the nation's largest shareholder-owned insurance and financial services organization. Aetna Health Plans covers 13 million people nationwide.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Patrick Dowd, vice president, Aetna Health Plans, 704-353-7177, or Kim Rickwood, director, Community Relations, Mercy Health Services, 704-379-5109/


CO: Mercy Hospital Inc.; Mercy Medical Group; Aetna Health Plans;
 Aetna Life & Casualty Co. ST: North Carolina IN: HEA SU:


MM -- CH005 -- 1077 01/13/94 12:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994
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