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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and NCBH reach agreement

Winston-Salem hospital will re-join the BCBSNC provider network

Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem, NC -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and North Carolina Baptist Hospital announced today that they have reached a three-year agreement for the hospital to rejoin the BCBSNC network.

The agreement is effective October 7, 2005. The contract agreement means that BCBSNC members in all of the company’s insurance plans may utilize Baptist Hospital as an “in-network” provider, with full member benefits and conveniences afforded by their individual plans. Other details of the agreement are confidential.

“Our number one goal was keeping the interest of our members at the forefront in these discussions, and we are extremely satisfied to have reached a reasonable agreement,” said Bob Greczyn, BCBSNC president and CEO. “We’re pleased to have this respected medical center return to our networks as a choice for our members.”

Len B. Preslar Jr., Baptist Hospital’s president and CEO, said, “We are pleased to announce this agreement for the added convenience of our patients who are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina members. Ensuring that they can easily come to us when they need medical care is of primary importance to us. This agreement gives them that assurance.”

Baptist Hospital has been out of BCBSNC’s networks since June 4. Negotiations over the past several weeks yielded this week’s final agreement.

About BCBSNC:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.2 million members, including approximately 620,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 72 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at www.bcbsnc.com.

About North Carolina Baptist Hospital:
Baptist Hospital is part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, an academic health system comprised of Baptist and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report. www.wfubmc.edu

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