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UPMC Health Plan Enters Agreement With PHCS

PITTSBURGH (June 2, 2004) UPMC Health Plan announced it has entered into an agreement with Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS), the nation's leading health care cost management company. The relationship would enable UPMC Health Plan members whose employers are based in Pennsylvania to access health care outside the state through the PHCS Network.

Effective July 1, 2004, UPMC Health Plan members who live or work outside the regular Health Plan service area can access seamless, cost-effective routine health care at in-network rates through the PHCS Network of nearly 415,000 providers and 3,700 facilities. UPMC Health Plan members who live in Ohio will continue to be served by Medical Mutual of Ohio's (MMO) network of providers. This agreement permits UPMC Health Plan to offer another attractive alternative for Pennsylvania employers with employees who live out of state.

"UPMC Health Plan is always concerned about providing affordable products and services that deliver high value while preserving freedom of choice," said Diane P. Holder, president of UPMC Health Plan. "Through our relationship with PHCS, we continue our mission by offering a national option that presents significantly lower health care costs without compromising quality or service."

Consumers benefit because when they seek care for covered medical benefits under their health plan, either through the UPMC Health Plan network or the PHCS Network, they will not be billed for any fees beyond their contracted co-payments or deductibles. "Such billing-called 'balance billing' in our industry-is often very confusing and frustrating to people," Holder said.

"We are very pleased to be selected by UPMC Health Plan," said James Herrington, PHCS chief marketing officer. "The company has a tradition of providing quality and value to its members that mirrors the PHCS commitment to service excellence. We look forward to supporting UPMC Health Plan and its members."

UPMC Health Plan is a health benefits company with headquarters in Pittsburgh. Its more than 430,000 members are served by some 6,700 physicians at more than 80 hospitals throughout 27 counties of western Pennsylvania.

For 19 years, Private Healthcare Systems has been meeting the network and medical management needs of customers across the country. Corporate headquarters are in Waltham, Massachusetts, with regional offices located throughout the United States. The largest proprietary PPO in the country, the PHCS Network includes nearly 415,000 providers and 3,700 facilities. PHCS is the first and only national PPO to earn four endorsements of quality from two independent, nationally recognized quality assurance organizations, NCQA and URAC.

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