HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds Pennsylvania's Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are interested in participating in the new regional Medicare PPO program. According to the latest issue of the Pennsylvania Health Plan Analysis, the multi-state region of Pennsylvania and West Virginia particularly suits Highmark Inc., which controls Mountain State BlueCross BlueShield of West Virginia, Highmark Blue Shield in Central Pennsylvania and has minor ownership of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"It would make sense for the four Blues plans in Pennsylvania to form a partnership for a regional PPO," said Heather Wicks, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "These PPOs require a broad network that covers the entire region, and the Blues are in a position to offer that. In addition, Highmark already has a local Medicare PPO and Capital BlueCross also has plans to introduce a local one."

  Other Health Plan News in Pennsylvania:     * Pennsylvania's Blues plans escaped a state raid of their surplus and      reserve amounts in February after the state insurance department found      them to be at acceptable levels.     * UPMC Health Plan is evaluating a motivational approach to its health-      coaching program that taps into the medical experience of its owner,      University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.     * Aetna is reporting increased interest in disease-management and      wellness programs, including the use of its extensive database to      analyze the prevalence of certain diseases among employer groups.    About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a newly formed company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit both Web sites at http://www.healthleaders.com/ and http://www.interstudypublications.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall    Decision Resources    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,
emarshall@dresources.com

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