Monday, October 10, 2005

Aetna Press Release 10/5/2005

Aetna Expands Workers’ Compensation Health Care Network Aetna Workers’ Comp access growing in 17 markets HARTFORD, Conn., October 5, 2005 —

Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) announced today that it is expanding its Aetna Workers’ Comp Access® (AWCA) network into six additional markets, adding to the more than 190,000 physicians and health care professionals and 900 hospitals currently participating in 11 other markets. The expansion advances Aetna’s ability to offer its customers a market-leading national network for injured workers.AWCA offers a network access product for workers’ compensation services. The AWCA network includes primary care physicians, occupational medical centers, urgent care centers, physical therapy providers, chiropractors, radiology centers, orthopedists, orthopedic surgeons and facilities."The network helps workers’ compensation insurance carriers and employers manage the rising cost of workplace injuries while providing access to care that can help injured workers return to work quickly and productively," said Greta Montes, network market head for AWCA.Claimants get access through their employers, who have contracts with workers’ compensation carriers and administrators who have a relationship with AWCA, or employers who self-insure their workers’ compensation coverage and are customers of AWCA. The new markets where AWCA is expanding are Delaware, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New York and the District of Columbia. The latest expansion complements the existing AWCA network available in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and most recently Michigan and Indiana, which were added to AWCA’s network portfolio with Aetna’s acquisition of HMS Healthcare."The introduction of AWCA remains a tremendous opportunity for Aetna to develop a new line of business and expand our core capabilities to serve new markets," Montes said. "We expect a high percentage of participation from physicians, other health care professionals and hospitals currently participating in an Aetna network in states where we are building the AWCA network."

UnitedHealth Group Press Release 7/26/2005

UnitedHealth Group Establishes National Physician Advisory Committee to Enhance Effective Clinical Quality Improvement Efforts
Minneapolis (July 26, 2005) –

UnitedHealth Group today announced the formation of a standing advisory committee that will provide expert physician guidance on the creation of programs to evaluate, report on and improve clinical quality. The physician advisory committee includes respected physician leaders, clinicians and other experts drawn from medical specialty societies, state medical societies, academic medical centers, and medical practice groups, as well as health care performance assessment experts.

Performance assessment and feedback has emerged as an important vehicle to assist physicians in improving the quality of health care, and there is an increasing demand by consumers and health care purchasers for trustworthy and meaningful data to support better health care decisions. The UnitedHealth Group Physician Advisory Committee will help ensure that the company’s efforts in this area create a workable program that is guided by the best possible physician input and perspectives.

“The availability of high quality, affordable and accessible health care to all people is an increasingly important yet unrealized goal for our society,” said William W. McGuire, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, UnitedHealth Group. “Emerging efforts to use data as a tool to both improve results and enhance health care decision-making are gaining momentum, and it is imperative that such programs be as accurate as possible, continuously evolve and improve, and appropriately reflect the realities of clinical practice. The leadership offered by this distinguished group of experts, coupled with the extensive capabilities in data analysis and application of UnitedHealth Group, will greatly benefit this process and help create a reliable resource for consumers, physicians and other care providers, and those who fund health care.”

The committee will provide guidance on decision processes that relate to assessment criteria and how the resultant measurements are applied to physician feedback programs as well as to consumer information tools and services. Commenting on this effort, Bernard Rosof, M.D., Co-Chair of the Physician Consortium for Performance Measures and Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Health Affairs

North Shore Long Island Health System, said “ Programs that evaluate physician performance should have the active input of the physician community to ensure their maximum effectiveness at improving quality of care, and to ensure that their design and implementation accurately represent the care delivered by physicians. Accordingly, I am pleased to participate in this effort which has the potential to serve as a valuable forum to improve the quality and efficiency of the health care we provide, and to do so through a collaborative process on behalf of all of the important constituencies involved.”

“I am excited about the potential that this initiative offers and appreciative of this distinguished panel and their sponsoring organizations for contributing their experience and special insights to efforts by United Health Group to improve patient care, to be responsive to the needs of patients and purchasers, and to design credible and trustworthy performance assessment initiatives,” added Reed V. Tuckson, M.D., senior vice president, Consumer Health and Medical Care Advancement, UnitedHealth Group. “Ultimately, this work will advance our effort to effectively assist physicians and patients in creating a workable and valuable program that assists physicians and helps patients receive the best possible quality of care to meet individual needs.”

The quality and efficiency assessment efforts will be applied to future programs that emerge from initiatives such as Bridges to Excellence and related pilots now being assessed by UnitedHealth Group, major U.S. employers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In addition, they will be used to further enhance the established UnitedHealth Group Centers of Excellence and Premium Programs, including United Resource Networks, which is today available to more than 52 million Americans.

Members of the UnitedHealth Group Physician Advisory Committee include representatives from organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Osteopathic Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Medical Group Management Association, Ohio State Medical Association, and the Physician Consortium for Performance Measures. In addition, the Committee includes nationally renowned experts in cardiology, orthopedic surgery, oncology, transplant surgery, physician performance assessment methodology, and consumer health care decision-making.