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Using Blues on Call Plus Highmark Inc. Offers Customers Health and Wellness Services Tailored to Their Employees’ Needs

November 2, 2006

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ — Highmark Inc. today announced the insurer’s newest tool to help employers manage costs while encouraging appropriate care. Through a special unit of nurses, registered dietitians and exercise physiologists, Blues on Call Plus offers tailored programs that meet group customers’ unique needs.

“This program is designed to help our group customers address the health care needs of all employees,” said Michael Dubroff, D.O., Highmark’s vice president for Health Excellence Partners, the Highmark unit that oversees the new program. “Blues on Call Plus addresses the range of health care services with an increased emphasis on wellness and preventive care to help prevent diseases before they become chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.”

The new program, which groups may purchase beginning in January, has four components that target members at different health stages. All components stress wellness and preventive care as the keys to a healthier lifestyle. Highmark also provides a medical director and physician consultant to help resolve health-related conditions that impact productivity.

Health Promotion Outreach targets those at risk of developing a chronic condition by helping them identify programs and services that reverse, stop or slow their chances of that disease. Based on information provided through personal wellness profiles, Health Coaches reach out to employees — identifying programs based on their specific health care needs. Tailored outreach services are also available for eight targeted health conditions, including depression and obesity. Condition management programs help members with chronic conditions such as diabetes or congestive heart failure better manage their condition.

Blues on Call Plus also includes a complex case and utilization management component for members with high cost or specific diagnosis. Nurse specialists guide members to appropriate, timely health care services while ensuring members have access to appropriate support and services after hospital discharge.

“The goal with Blues on Call Plus is to take care of the whole person by encouraging employees to live a healthy lifestyle while addressing any behavioral risk factors and chronic conditions,” said Dubroff. “Keeping members healthy, present and productive at work benefits both the employer and employee.”

The insurer is currently launching the program with its own employees and several employer groups. Highmark will charge groups that purchase Blues on Call Plus an additional fee, which it hopes will be offset by improvements in member health status and a reduction in those who develop chronic conditions. The insurer will provide employers with performance scorecards on a regular basis highlighting the numbers of interventions performed and the types and quantities of interactions with the group’s employees.

About Highmark

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.’s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.6 million people through the company’s health care benefits business.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information about Highmark visit http://www.highmark.com/. .

Highmark Inc.

CONTACT: Denise Grabner, +1-412-544-7488, ordenise.grabner@highmark.com, or Leilyn Perri, +1-717-302-4243, orleilyn.perri@highmark.com, both of Highmark Inc.

Web site: http://www.highmark.com/




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