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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Adds Affinity Health System to Provider Network
Date:11/16/2009

MILWAUKEE and MENASHA, Wis., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) and Affinity Health System (Affinity) announced today a new agreement that will allow Anthem members in Wisconsin to access care from the award-winning health system at in-network rates and benefit levels. With the addition of Affinity, Anthem now offers one of the broadest networks of doctors, hospitals and specialists in the Fox Valley.

"Our growing network of world-class health care providers is a big part of why people continue to choose Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield," said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem in Wisconsin. "We're thrilled to add Affinity to our broad, statewide network and know our members will enjoy having even more options for where they can receive quality care at the highest benefit levels and lowest out-of-pocket costs."

Effective December 15, 2009, the long-term agreement adds more than 200 Affinity Medical Group physicians and comprehensive services at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Calumet Medical Center and 22 clinics to Anthem's provider network. The in-network status of Affinity will apply to all Anthem members in Wisconsin, including those enrolled through the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

"We are excited to offer our health care services to more people throughout the Fox Valley," said Daniel E. Neufelder, CEO of Affinity Health System. "All our plans and strategies are centered on patients' needs and interests by delivering personalized care. Becoming an in-network provider will allow more Anthem members to experience Affinity and take control of their health care by making decisions that best fit their individual needs. This agreement with Anthem is part of our long-term insurance strategy."

Widely recognized for its commitment to excellence, Affinity Health System is nationally listed among the top integrated health care systems by SDI Health Integrated Health Network Top 100, and both Mercy Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital were ranked in the top one percent of all hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select Practice National Quality Award.

Anthem offers a wide variety of health insurance products to meet the changing needs of individuals, families and businesses. Anthem members participating in the company's PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) network have access to more than 90 percent of Wisconsin hospitals and more than 80 percent of physicians in the United States at in-network rates and benefit levels.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin ("BCBSWi") underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation ("Compcare") underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem is available at www.anthem.com.

About Affinity Health System

Affinity Health System, a Catholic mission-oriented regional health care network, is a partnership of Ministry Health Care and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Affinity Health System is the Fox Valley's third largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and is nationally listed among the top 50 hospitals for quality and efficiency (Thomson Reuters, Modern Healthcare). For eight consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI Health (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation - Affinity ranks no. 29 in the 2009 report. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent among hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select Practice National Quality Award. Network Health Plan has achieved Excellent accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the highest possible level. It has been nationally ranked in the Top 50 Health Insurance Plans for five consecutive years in the U.S. News and World Report/NCQA Best Health Plans in America listing. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Community Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 22 family practice and specialty clinics - including two fully operational Medical Home models - in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; Network Health Plan, Menasha; and Affinity Occupational Health.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Wisconsin; Affinity Health System


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Wisconsin; Affinity Health System
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