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Independence Blue Cross and Abington Memorial Hospital Reach Multi-Year Agreement

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates (IBC) and Abington Memorial Hospital announced that they have reached new three-year agreements that continue their long-standing relationship.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Independence Blue Cross," said Richard L. Jones, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Abington Memorial Hospital. "Abington is a leader in quality and patient safety, as demonstrated by its history of participating in IBC's quality-based reimbursement fee structure. It's always exciting to be rewarded for our good work."

IBC's quality-based pay for performance program provides Abington and other hospitals an opportunity to earn additional compensation for delivering increasingly high-quality health care to IBC members. This merit-based compensation approach measures quantitative criteria such as minimizing hospital-acquired infections, preventing adverse drug events, and reducing surgical complications to improve performance on patient safety and quality of care.

"We appreciate the professionalism and the fact-based, data-driven approach that characterized our discussions to arrive at this fair and reasonable agreement," said Joseph A. Frick, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. "We are very pleased our members can continue to count on Abington Memorial Hospital in our broad network of participating providers."

About Abington Memorial Hospital

Abington Memorial Hospital (Abington) is an independent, 570-bed, acute care teaching hospital with a medical staff of more than 800 physicians and 5,000 employees. Abington serves Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties and has the only Level II accredited trauma center in Montgomery County. Abington offers highly specialized services in cardiac care, cancer care, maternal child health and surgery.

Abington's demonstrated commitment to patient quality and safety has resulted in a number of national and regional quality and excellence awards. In 2007, the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association issued its Annual Performance Achievement Award to Abington's Stroke Center for meeting seven standards of patient care set by both organizations under the "Get with the Guidelines" stroke program. In May, Abington's Human Motion Institute was awarded the Gold Seal of Approval and Disease-specific Certification from the Joint Commission for its commitment to excellence in hip and knee replacement, the second in the state to receive this accreditation. In 2006, the U.S. News and World Report named Abington among its "America's Best Hospitals" in recognition of the hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat (otolaryngology) specialty division. Also in 2006, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association recognized Abington as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care(SM). Blue Distinction identifies specialty centers throughout the nation that offer the best practices and standards of cardiac care.

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 nearly 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. In 2006, IBC was nationally recognized by the Disease Management Association of America for Connections(SM), its outstanding disease management program that improves the health and wellbeing of people with chronic illnesses. IBC's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. 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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