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METLIFE LAUNCHES NEW TRACKING PROGRAM FOR CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATION HEALTH REMINDERS TO BE SENT TO PARENTS

 NEW YORK, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of a broadscale national effort to help eradicate preventable childhood diseases, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company announced today that it would launch a new immunization tracking system for children.
 The program, which is to begin next month, will use the company's vast computerized claims-paying systems to identify gaps in immunization claims.
 The program will initially be available to parents who are members of MetLife's affiliated health maintenance organizations (HMOs) located around the country.
 Dr. Paul Bluestein, vice president and national medical director, MetLife, said, "We have long had the technology to pay medical claims. Now we want to put that technology to use to make preventive medicine much more than a mere catch-phrase."
 In the new program, MetLife will track on a monthly basis the health records of all children who should have received immunizations. For children who do not appear to have received the proper immunizations according to schedules published by The American Academy of Pediatrics, parents will be notified by MetLife HMO through an immediately issued "Health Reminder." The remainder will include an immunization and test schedule and other general information about the importance and safety of immunizations.
 Dr. Bluestein noted that the immunization tracking effort represents an extension of the company's Child Health Initiative (SM) Program which was launched a year ago.
 "The Child Health Initiative Program far exceeded our expectations in terms of the response we're getting from our HMO members," Dr. Bluestein said, adding: "Because of the interest in the literature we provided, we thought it was timely not just to publish and distribute information, but to actually remind parents about immunization in a highly specific, immediate manner."
 The MetLife program is being announced to coincide with National Immunization Week, which runs from April 24-30. The week was organized by The Immunization Advocacy Coalition and Centers for Disease Control.
 A copy of the MetLife Health Reminder, which includes an immunization and test schedule, may be obtained free of charge by writing to: Ms. Pat Curran, MetLife Managed Care Services Group, 57 Greens Farms Rd., Westport, Conn. 06880.
 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and its affiliates insure or administer individual and group life, health , pension, and property and casualty coverage for more than 45 million people around the world.
 -0- 04/26/93
 /CONTACT: Ann D. Gross of MetLife, 212-578-5345/


CO: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ST: New York IN: INS SU: PDT

LD-AH -- NYM009 -- 0606 04/26/93 11:00 EDT
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Date:Apr 26, 1993
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