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WellPoint Partners With CareNex Health Services to Expand Its Neonatal Intensive Care Services Program

INDIANAPOLIS, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc., today announced the expansion of its strategic partnership position with CareNex Health Services to help promote quality care and service for infants experiencing clinically-complex health issues, and their families.

WellPoint is currently partnering with CareNex to expand its affiliated health plans' Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) Services program for members in those plans in Virginia and New York, and will expand the program to its health plans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado and Northern California later in 2008. The program with CareNex is already in place for commercial members of WellPoint's affiliated health plans in Southern California, Nevada and Ohio.

Approximately eight to ten percent of all births are premature, and nearly forty percent of high-dollar health care claims are related to NICU care and preterm births. Expansion of the NICU Services program is designed to help improve clinical quality and facilitation of services for patients in the NICU, and prepare families for their infant's transition to home. Working collaboratively with attending physicians and nurses, CareNex collects detailed clinical information to create comprehensive patient profiles to assist with on-site care management, nurse review and discharge planning for the infant members of WellPoint's affiliated health plans.

"Through this program, our goal is to work with the skilled doctors and nurses in the hospital to help arrange the best care for infants in the NICU by continually monitoring how these patients are cared for, supporting the family, and educating parents about their infant's condition to promote more informed decision making," said Bob McIntire, senior vice president of health care management for WellPoint. "CareNex is a valued partner in this process because they work closely with health care providers and the patient's family to better meet their needs."

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of medical membership in the United States. WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its 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 Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the city of Fairfax, the town of Vienna and the area east of State Route 123.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at .

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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