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Independence Blue Cross Finalizes New Multi-Year Agreements with Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center
Date:9/28/2007

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross announces it has signed new three-year contracts with Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center, both part of Catholic Health East health care system, effective July 1, 2007.

The Mercy Health System includes Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia, Mercy Suburban Hospital, St. Agnes Continuing Care Center, and Nazareth Hospital, as well as Mercy Home Health and many physician practices and other ancillary services. St. Mary Medical Center is a comprehensive medical center in Langhorne.

Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center were the first hospitals in the region to participate in a quality-based pay for performance program with Independence Blue Cross. This merit-based compensation approach measures quantitative criteria such as minimizing health care acquired infections and reducing surgical complications to improve performance on patient safety and quality of care. The new agreements reflect the hospitals' continued interest in receiving appropriate incentives for the delivery of increasingly high-quality health care to Independence Blue Cross members in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.

"The new agreement is consistent with Mercy Health System's commitment to providing quality patient care and access to health services in the communities that we serve," said H. Ray Welch, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Mercy Health System. "The agreement with Independence Blue Cross provides an opportunity to continue our five-year trend of meeting or exceeding quality objectives that were assigned by IBC in the merit-based performance program."

"Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center play a key role in providing exceptional health care for our members," said Joseph A. Frick, president and chief executive officer of IBC. "We value the opportunity to engage more hospitals in our pay for performance program to a
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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