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WellPoint Announces Strategic Relationship With Availity to Enhance the Provider and Health Plan Relationship and Advance Improvements in Patient Care
Date:3/17/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), the nation's largest health benefits company in terms of medical membership, announced today that it has selected Availity, LLC as a strategic part of its suite of online provider solutions. Availity, which offers a secure multi-plan portal at no charge to doctors and other providers, improves efficiencies in the health care system by simplifying many aspects of health plan administration - an important step toward advancing affordable patient care.

WellPoint joins current owners Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., Health Care Service Corporation and Humana Inc. in making an investment in Availity's industry-leading multi-plan platform.

Availity's "one-stop-shop" approach benefits patients, providers and health plans by streamlining the health care administration process and providing a consistent user experience.

"Our relationship with Availity continues our longstanding commitment to help simplify the health care process so that doctors and patients spend more time on care and less time on paperwork," said Angela Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint. "The savings of time and money for providers, members and customers reflect our commitment to manage administrative costs throughout the health care system. Every penny saved on forms, phone calls, claims and benefit administration is money that can be invested in innovative products and services that improve the health of our members."

"As the health care industry focuses on increased efficiencies and reduction of administrative costs, the marketplace demands continued improvements in the capabilities of health information technology solutions," said Julie Klapstein, CEO of Availity. "WellPoint shares Availity's commitment to deliver real-time information at the point of care, providing true value to patients, health care professionals and health plans in multiple regions across the country."

WellPoint affiliated health plans in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin will be available for providers through the Availity portal at http://www.availity.com later this year. More plans will follow after these successful pilots.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint is committed to improving the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities by simplifying the connection between health, care and value. Our goal is to help shape the impact each health care decision has on individuals, the health care system at-large, and our communities. WellPoint's more than 42,000 associates work every day to help create the best health care value for our customers. Through collaborations with providers and with innovative programs, WellPoint's affiliated health plans reward healthy lifestyles and quality, safe and effective care. As the nation's largest health benefits company, with approximately 35 million members in its affiliated health plans, WellPoint is at the center of the health care system. This position provides us with the relationships and insights needed to help create affordable and actionable solutions that improve health care.

As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at http://www.wellpoint.com.

Health. Care. Value.(SM)

About Availity, LLC - Patients. Not paperwork(R)

Availity optimizes information exchange between multiple health care stakeholders through a single, secure network. The Availity Health Information Network encompasses administrative, financial, and clinical services, supporting both real-time and batch exchange via the Web, business to business (B2B) integration, and electronic data interchange (EDI). For more information, including an online demonstration, please visit www.availity.com.


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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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