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New e-Prescription Feature Will Enable Physicians to Access Critical Information Instantly

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - August 20, 2008 - WellPoint NextRx, an independent pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company and the nation's largest health-plan-owned PBM, announced today that Surescripts-RxHub connectivity is available to physicians in Rhode Island through Blue Cross & Blue Shield Rhode Island (BCBSRI) effective August 16, 2008. The connection to Surescripts-RxHub network is part of WellPoint NextRx's e-prescribing strategy to reduce the time physicians spend managing prescriptions while saving members money. It also supports BCBSRI's ongoing efforts to encourage adoption and use of electronic health records by physicians.

"Approximately one in three Americans carry a Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield card. Partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans is one way in which we can combine our expertise and implement new programs to positively impact the cost and quality of care that members receive," said Renwyck Elder, president of WellPoint NextRx.

"WellPoint NextRx is consistently identifying new programs that offer health plan members access to affordable, quality medications. We're pleased to be working with BCBSRI to connect physicians, including those treating BCBSRI members, to critical decision support information at the point of care to help manage the patients' use of medications and counsel patients on safe and affordable choices."

The connection to Surescripts-RxHub allows NextRx to electronically link with physicians/providers who e-prescribe, providing valuable real-time pharmacy information before prescriptions are written, thereby helping to reduce errors and increase physician effectiveness. Before an authorized physician or provider prepares an e-prescription for a BCBSRI member, with patient consent, immediate eligibility and formulary information will be provided from NextRx. In addition, medication history can also be provided to physicians during the prescribing process.

"We are making every effort to promote the adoption and use of electronic health records by Rhode Island physicians," said Jim Purcell, president and CEO, BCBSRI. "We believe that making e-prescribing easier will further encourage its use, which will directly benefit our members."

In 2006, the state of Rhode Island finished first in the nation as part of the first ever nationwide ranking of electronic prescribing activity, earning the state the SafeRx Award. Earlier this year, NextRx completed a pilot program launched by BCBSRI for increasing the use of specific generic over-the-counter medications. The OTC Options Program was designed by NextRx in response to BCBSRI's desire to help members save money on medications to treat common ailments such as allergies.

Surescripts-RxHub operates a low-cost utility that facilitates the secure exchange of eprescriptions and prescription information nationwide. NextRx was first connected to Surescripts-RxHub in late 2006. WellPoint NextRx is a service mark of WellPoint, Inc. Services are provided by a WellPoint PBM (either NextRx Services, Inc. or NextRx, LLC, as applicable). WellPoint NextRx is a division of WellPoint, Inc.

About WellPoint NextRx
WellPoint NextRx is a progressive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) helping health plans, employer groups and third party administrators target the reduction of total health care costs and improve health outcomes. NextRx provides extensive PBM services including claims processing, clinical and disease management programs, retail network, mail and specialty pharmacy, customer service, and rebate management. With roots that date back to the 1980's, NextRx has years of experience in providing all of these fundamental services. WellPoint NextRx is a division of WellPoint, Inc. Services are provided by a WellPoint PBM (either NextRx Services, Inc. or NextRx, LLC, as applicable). Visit

About Surescripts-RxHub:
Surescripts-RxHub gives healthcare providers secure, electronic access to prescription information that can save their patients' lives and reduce the cost of healthcare for all. Available during emergencies or routine care, Surescripts-RxHub's network is used by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners nationwide to exchange health information and prescribe without paper. The next time you or anyone you know goes for a checkup and your healthcare provider takes out their pad and pen to write a prescription, take the opportunity to ask them for an e-prescription instead. For more information go to

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island (BCBSRI):
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been the state's leading health insurer for more than 69 years and now covers more than 680,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Press Contacts:
Lisa Greiner
Comprehensive Health Solutions (CHS) Communications Director

Chris Medici
Chief Communications Officer
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
(401) 459-5283

Rob Cronin
(917) 414-5289

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