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Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health System Reach Agreement on New Three-Year Contracts

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The region's leading health insurer, Independence Blue Cross (IBC), and the area's largest health care system, the Jefferson Health System (JHS), announced today that they have reached agreement on new three-year contracts.

The new agreements are effective June 1, 2008, and will provide IBC members with continued access to covered services at the following Jefferson Health System acute-care hospitals: the Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, including its Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience division and Methodist Hospital division; the Main Line Health hospitals (Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Paoli, and Riddle Memorial); and the three Frankford Hospital campuses (Bucks, Frankford, and Torresdale). In addition, the agreements cover Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, and other ancillary providers, including JHS's home health care and ambulance companies, as well as the physician groups Frankford Health Care System Physician Services, Main Line Health Care, Methodist Associates in Healthcare, Magee Physician Group, and Riddle Health Care Associates.

"Jefferson Health System plays a key role in providing exceptional care to our members and we are proud that our new agreements ensure our members may continue to receive care at Jefferson Health System," said Joseph A. Frick, president and chief executive officer of IBC. "Teamwork, partnership, and an uncompromising commitment to improve the health of our members and the patients served by Jefferson Health System's hospitals are at the foundation of these new contracts."

Jefferson Health System's hospitals have a strong commitment to quality -- demonstrated by their many quality-driven initiatives, including participation in IBC's hospital quality-based incentive payment program, an important new component of the recently-signed contracts with IBC.

"IBC's quality-based pay for performance program will provide our hospitals the opportunity to earn additional compensation for delivering increasingly high-quality health care to IBC members," said Joseph T. Sebastianelli, president and chief executive officer of JHS. "This merit-based compensation approach will support our efforts to minimize healthcare-acquired infections, prevent adverse drug events, and reduce surgical complications, among our other efforts to continually improve patient safety and quality of care."

About JHS

Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Jefferson Health System is the region's largest health care system. Among other accolades, JHS hospitals have received national recognition by U.S. News & World Report's rankings of America's best hospitals, and many physicians affiliated with JHS hospitals are included in Philadelphia Magazine's annual list of the best local doctors.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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