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UPMC Media Relations

Declaration of Interdependence of Health Care Partners Featured in UPMC Health Plan 2002 Publication

Pittsburgh, PA, (May 7, 2003) Managing the relationships that exist among its health care partners to provide unparalleled health benefits continues as a top priority for UPMC Health Plan.

That point is detailed in the Health Plan's 2002 annual report, which was released this week. Titled "Declaration of Interdependence," the annual report uses the comments of members, physicians, hospital administrators, employers, community leaders, and health plan employees to tell the story of how all those parties interact.

"We've discovered how strongly wethe Health Plan and all of our health care partnersdepend on each other," said Patricia A. Liebman, UPMC Health Plan's chief executive officer.

The daily interaction helps the Health Plan to meet its four goals: satisfy customers, grow membership, manage expenses and improve the community health status, she said.

UPMC Health Plan provides health benefits products to more than 390,000 members and 4,700 business partners. In 2002, the Health Plan was able to increase membership for a fifth consecutive year, despite a sluggish local economy and increases in health care costs.

Liebman said that for 2002, while the Health Plan's overhead expenses were well below the national average and half those of its major competitor, the Health Plan's costs exceeded its revenue of $876 million by $5.7 million.

UPMC Health Plan members, in all lines of business, are served by over 6,300 doctors and 78 hospitals in over 30 counties in western Pennsylvania, and parts of Maryland and West Virginia. In 2002, UPMC Health Plan expanded its Medicare product, UPMC for Life, into six additional western Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny County. Its Medicaid product got a new name in 2002: UPMC for You.

"The health care dollar is limited, and business and government payers want high-quality health benefits at a reasonable price and with reasonable contributions from consumers," said Liebman. "Consumers must also have a stake in maintaining costs at reasonable levels.

"That's what interdependence means."

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the Health Plan is a subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which has 31 merged and affiliated hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania. In 2002, UPMC was one of 17 health systems considered the "Best of the Best" by U.S. News & World Report. UPMC has earned that distinction for four consecutive years.

For more information on UPMC Health Plan, call 1-888-876-2756, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Annual Report soon will be available on the UPMC Health Plan web site at www.upmchealthplan.com.
 
(Editor's note: If you want to interview UPMC Health Plan Chief Executive Officer Patricia A. Liebman, please contact Bill Sawchak at 412-454-8545.)

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