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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Acts to Support Las Vegans Impacted by Endoscopy Center Practices

- $50,000 grant to the Nevada Health Centers to offer free testing to those

requiring services

- Immediate Termination of Endoscopy Center of Nevada clinics

- Online information Available to Public

LAS VEGAS, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada announced today that the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation will make a $50,000 grant to the Nevada Health Centers to go toward the free testing and follow-up counseling of Las Vegans who received services from the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

"Our hearts go out to those who have suffered distress as a result of this most unfortunate situation," said Mike Murphy, President, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada. "Our grant will help many of the Las Vegans who have been directed to have tests for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV, to access them at no cost."

"I am very appreciative to Anthem for moving in a positive direction to assist patients in Las Vegas to get the testing they need," said Dr. Heard, interim CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Nevada Health Centers. "As a community health program, we want to do everything we can to assist with this very important public health issue. We urge all the people who are at risk to get tested and we will announce the testing sites in the next day or two."

Anthem has also taken the following actions to protect the health and safety of Las Vegans and provide support to the community during this health crisis. Specifically, Anthem has:

-- Terminated facilities from the network: As the Endoscopy Center of

Southern Nevada has had its business licenses revoked or suspended,

Anthem has terminated its contract with this facility. To the extent

they were in the network, the affiliated providers whose business

licenses were revoked or suspended have been similarly terminated.

-- Partnered with the Southern Nevada Health District to determine how

best to provide support and assistance to the Las Vegas community and

those people directly affected by this situation. Our intention is to

assist the Health District as they manage this process, from

notification to screening to follow-up.

-- Identifying Anthem members who received services through the facilities

in question so as to share information about testing options, useful

support and informational resources and benefit coverage.

Anthem members who have additional questions are encouraged to call Anthem's 24-hour Nurse Line at 1-800-337-4770, log on to Anthem's WebMD website at, or contact a customer care representative at the number listed on the back of their ID card.

More information about hepatitis or other blood-borne diseases can be found at:

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Nevada, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Nevada
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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