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NEWLY FORMED ADVANTAGE HEALTH COMPLETES MERGER OF TWO PITTSBURGH HEALTH CARE COMPANIES

 PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of Pittsburgh's largest managed health care organizations, Pennsylvania Health Care Plan (PHCP) and Central Medical Health Care Plan, have merged under a new corporate banner, Advantage Health, it was announced today.
 M. Daniel Splain, president and CEO of Advantage Health, said the newly formed organization has more than 100,000 subscribers, making it one of the Tri-state area's largest managed health care organizations.
 The purpose of the new company, he explained, is to combine the benefits of the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), formerly operated by Central Medical, and the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), managed by PHCP, into a single comprehensive health care package.
 "The immediate advantage for employer group health plans is the flexibility our program offers, both in terms of cost and health care options for their employees," Splain remarked.
 The merger of the two companies began last year, when PHCP's parent company, St. Francis Health System, announced its affiliation with Central Medical.
 Advantage Health also announced the purchase of two additional health care provider organizations covering parts of West Virginia and eastern Ohio. With the acquisition of Health Guard, Bellaire, Ohio, and Preferred Health Plan, Wheeling, W.Va., Advantage Health offers subscribers coverage at more than 40 participating hospitals and over 3,000 physician office locations in the Tri-state region.
 Said Splain, "We are now in a position to offer a regional managed care program to Fortune 500 companies, as well as smaller companies with as few as two employees. Our commitment is to provide cost-effective, high-quality health care packages to employers throughout the Tri-state area."
 Advantage Health currently provides managed care programs for more than 500 employers in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Splain said he expects that number to double within the next year.
 "The strong membership base and complementary products resulting from the creation of Advantage Health will strengthen our position in the managed care marketplace," he said.
 -0- 2/15/93
 /CONTACT: M. Daniel Splain, president and CEO of Advantage Health, 412-391-9300, or Ralph W. Yearick of George Hill Company, 412-471-3700, for Advantage Health/


CO: Pennsylvania Health Care Plan; Central Medical Health Care Plan;
 Advantage Health ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA INS SU: TNM


CD-DM -- PG003 -- 6533 02/15/93 12:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 15, 1993
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