PacifiCare of Oklahoma Forms New Agreements With 400 OU Physicians And Leading Oklahoma City Hospitals

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PacifiCare of Oklahoma, a subsidiary of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. , has formed new relationships with two distinguished hospitals and two ambulatory surgery centers throughout greater Oklahoma City.

In addition, the company signed a first-time agreement with OU Physicians, the state's largest physician group with more than 400 doctors, affording greater access to health care services and enhancing its already extensive network of physicians.

The agreements will take effect July 1, 2004. Members enrolled in PacifiCare HMO and PPO plans and Secure Horizons Medicare+Choice and Medicare Supplement plans will have access to OU Physicians, OU MEDICAL CENTER, Edmond Medical Center, Oklahoma Surgicare and Surgicare Midtown.

"We are excited about our new relationship with PacifiCare and the positive value that, together, we can bring to the communities we serve," said Lance Torcom, vice president of managed care services for the hospitals. "These new agreements will enable our organizations to enhance quality and service for our mutual patients and members throughout Oklahoma City."

Austin Pittman, president of PacifiCare of Oklahoma, said: "Our top priority is to provide our members with affordable access to quality health care services from an extensive network of physicians and hospitals. The addition of these new surgery centers, physicians and hospitals reinforces PacifiCare's commitment to provide our Oklahoma City members more flexible and affordable health care options."

OU MEDICAL CENTER is the largest hospital in Oklahoma City and is located on the Oklahoma Health Center campus near downtown Oklahoma City. The hospital's medical professionals are capable of treating a full range of patients, from the tiniest premature baby to the most critically ill senior. OU MEDICAL CENTER is also home to The Children's Hospital at OU MEDICAL CENTER, a facility devoted to the care of children.

With more than 400 doctors, OU Physicians is the state's largest multi-specialty physician group. The practice encompasses nearly every medical specialty. Many of OU Physicians' doctors have expertise in the management of complex conditions that is unavailable anywhere else in the state, region -- or sometimes even the nation. OU Physicians see patients in their offices at the OU Health Sciences Center and in Edmond, Enid and other cities around Oklahoma. Appointments with physicians are available by calling (405) 271-2222.

Oklahoma Surgicare and Midtown Surgicare are designed exclusively for outpatient surgery and are dedicated to providing quality, cost-effective outpatient and short-stay surgery in a friendly, patient-oriented environment.

Edmond Medical Center is an acute care facility with more than 400 physicians who represent more than 50 medical specialties. In addition to the hospital's medical/surgical unit, intensive care, rehabilitation and geropsych services, the hospital features five comprehensive specialty centers ranging from spine care to sleep medicine.

PacifiCare Health Systems is one of the nation's largest consumer health organizations with more than 3 million health plan members and approximately 9 million specialty plan members nationwide. PacifiCare offers individuals, employers and Medicare beneficiaries a variety of consumer-driven health care and life insurance products. Currently, more than 99 percent of PacifiCare's commercial health plan members are enrolled in plans that have received Excellent Accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). PacifiCare's specialty operations include behavioral health, dental and vision, and complete pharmacy and medical management through its wholly owned subsidiary, Prescription Solutions. More information on PacifiCare Health Systems is available at http://www.pacificare.com/.

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.

CONTACT: Cheryl Randolph of PacifiCare, +1-714-226-3441

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