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QUAL-MED SIGNS A STOCK PURCHASE AGREEMENT WITH CALIFORNIA PACIFIC HEALTH FOR THE PURCHASE OF BRIDGEWAY PLAN FOR HEALTH

QUAL-MED SIGNS A STOCK PURCHASE AGREEMENT WITH CALIFORNIA PACIFIC HEALTH
 FOR THE PURCHASE OF BRIDGEWAY PLAN FOR HEALTH
 Acquisition of Top Regional HMO Seen as Strengthening
 Qual-Med Presence in Northern California
 PUEBLO, Colo., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Qual-Med Inc. (NASDAQ: QLMD) and California Pacific Health, a California non-profit corporation, announced today that they have signed a definitive stock purchase agreement for Qual-Med to acquire, for a purchase price of $25 million, all outstanding capital stock of Bridgeway Plan for Health, a for-profit health maintenance organization (HMO) headquartered in San Francisco, and licensed to operate in 13 Northern California counties. The closing is subject to approval from the California Department of Corporations and a pre-merger notification must also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department. The sale is expected to be concluded within 60 to 90 days.
 Bridgeway Plan for Health is Northern California's seventh-largest HMO, with more than 63,500 members in San Francisco, as well as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo Counties.
 Dr. Malik Hasan, Qual-Med's chairman and chief executive officer, stated that, "The Bridgeway acquisition is an excellent strategic move as the merging of Qual-Med and Bridgeway will create an HMO with an approximate current membership of 140,000 in the Bay Area. In addition, the acquisition of Bridgeway will complement Qual-Med's previously announced agreement to acquire PCA (Physician Corporation of America) of Sacramento in terms of a contiguous geographic coverage in Northern
California. The acquisition will enable Qual-Med to enhance service to its current membership base through a wider geographic coverage as well as a greater network of providers."
 James Heimarck, president and chief executive officer of California Pacific Health, the parent company of Bridgeway Plan for Health, characterized the sale as a strengthening move for the HMO, and, for California Pacific Health, a further enhancement of its role as a major provider of health care in this region through its remaining subsidiaries, California Pacific Medical Center and its Foundation. California Pacific Medical Center is the largest private not-for-profit medical center in Northern California -- the second-largest in the state -- with 1,067 licensed beds in San Francisco.
 "California Pacific Health has engaged in a strategic planning process, and has concluded that our core business is as a provider of high-quality health care services," commented Heimarck on the sale. "Bridgeway Plan for Health has been a strong regional HMO, and will be further strengthened by the state-of-the-art medical management expertise of Qual-Med and the diversity of their products, allowing Bridgeway to enhance benefits to its members."
 According to Robert E. Edmondson, president and chief executive officer of Bridgeway Plan for Health, "By combining resources with Qual- Med, we will enhance our administrative cost structure, while increasing the breadth of services we offer, and gaining a more effective medical management system. Throughout this process, Bridgeway has kept in mind the long-term goal of increasing service to its members in Northern California, while retaining the standards of high-quality care for which we are known."
 Bridgeway Plan for Health was founded in 1975 as the non-profit Children's Hospital Health Plan. In 1988 it changed to for-profit status, and in 1989 was renamed Bridgeway Plan for Health. It has 3,000 participating physicians, and 41 participating hospitals. For 1991, Bridgeway expects to report $114 million in revenue and a net income after tax in excess of $2.5 million.
 Qual-Med, headquartered in Pueblo, provides comprehensive health care services to approximately 222,000 members as of Dec. 31, 1991, in California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. Its members pay a fixed monthly premium for services rendered and choose among a broad network of physicians.
 -0- 3/12/92
 /CONTACT: Malik Hasan, M.D., president, chairman and CEO of Qual-Med, 719-542-0500; or James Heimarck, president and CEO of California Pacific Health, 415-923-3260; or Walt Woodbury, president of Qual-Med California, 510-465-9600/
 (QLMD) CO: Qual-Med Inc.; California Pacific Health; Bridgeway Plan for Health ST: Colorado, California IN: MTC SU: TNM


DM-JL -- LA029 -- 7626 03/12/92 20:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 12, 1992
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