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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Athens Regional Medical Center Announce New HMO/POS Contract

ATHENS, Ga., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Athens Regional Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) today announced the signing of a multi-year contract, enabling Athens Regional to join the BCBSGa HMO/POS network, effective Aug. 1, 2008. BCBSGa has had a PPO contract with Athens Regional for many years.

The new contract means that BCBSGa HMO and POS members throughout Georgia will be able to gain complete access to Athens Regional's wide range of comprehensive and specialized medical, surgical and diagnostic services as an in-network provider.

"The execution of the HMO contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia enables us to provide more hospital and group health insurance choices to residents in our 17-county service area. This agreement further extends our reach into the community by expanding the number of health insurance plans in which we participate," said Larry Webb, senior vice president and CFO at Athens Regional Medical Center. "It is our mission to provide this community with greater access to quality patient care and a scope of services that are of a superior value, delivered in a caring and safe atmosphere with dignity and compassion by highly-trained professionals."

"We are pleased to welcome Athens Regional to the BCBSGa HMO/POS network," said Amy Cheslock, vice-president of health services, BCBSGa. "With the addition of Athens Regional, our HMO/POS members in Northeast Georgia now have in-network access to both major hospitals in Athens."

About Athens Regional

Athens Regional Medical Center is a 315-bed, full service regional referral center and is part of Athens Regional Health Services, an integrated system that provides for the healthcare needs of a 17-county service area in Northeast Georgia. ARMC features nationally acclaimed, comprehensive cardiac, vascular and thoracic procedures including open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization and vascular labs; a full spectrum of minimally invasive surgeries; a neurosurgery unit, a stroke center, a free-standing outpatient radiology center and outpatient surgery center; rehabilitation services; a diagnostic and therapeutic oncology unit; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and CT Scanner; a neonatal intensive care unit; a Spine Institute and more. Additional information about Athens Regional is available at .

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

Blue Cross Blue and Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at .

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
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