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Blue Cross of California Pays Out Over $69 Million in Physician Bonus Incentives

Saturday, August 25, 2007 General News J E 4
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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -. Blue Cross of California(Blue Cross) today announced physician bonus incentives as part of its 2006HMO Quality Scorecard program, continuing its commitment to promoting quality,affordable health care to Californians. One hundred and seventy-sixparticipating physician groups throughout the state were paid incentivestotaling over $69 million, the most ever paid using Blue Cross' QualityScorecard. Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, located in San Diego, CA, is thisyear's top-performing physician group for the entire state.

"Physicians who strive to improve quality and patient service should berewarded," said Dr. Michael Belman, Medical Director for Clinical Quality andInnovations for Blue Cross. "Since implementing this program, we've seen theperformance level of physician groups increase significantly in both clinicalquality and member satisfaction."

Blue Cross has been a leading participant in the Integrated HealthcareAssociation's Pay-For-Performance Program since 2001, paying out morephysician bonus incentives than any other health plan in the state. The HMOQuality Scorecard program rewards physician groups for improving the qualityof care given to HMO patients using health outcomes and patient satisfactioninformation from a number of clinical and service categories. The qualitymeasures include patient satisfaction surveys, clinical measures, waitingtimes for appointments, number of complaints and grievances, and review ofmedical group or IPA functions. Performance in managing chronic diseases suchas asthma and diabetes and adherence to screening guidelines for breast andcervical cancer were some of the clinical measures tracked.

"We strive to offer quality care that sets community standards and exceedsour patients' expectations," said Donald C. Balfour, III, M.D., President andMedical Director of Sharp Rees-Stealy. "Being chosen as the top performingphysician group in the state shows that we are upholding that commitment toour patients and community."

About Blue Cross of California:

Blue Cross of California is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP).WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and thehealth of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest publicly tradedcommercial health benefits company in terms of membership in the UnitedStates. WellPoint, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross BlueShield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee forCalifornia; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut,Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in theKansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shieldin 10 New York City metropolitan counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross BlueShield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding theNorthern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and throughUniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available atwww.wellpoint.com.

SOURCE Blue Cross of California
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