|WellPoint Completes Acquisition of American Imaging Management|
INDIANAPOLIS and DEERFIELD, Ill., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), the nation's leading health benefits provider, today announced the completion of its acquisition of American Imaging Management (AIM), a leading radiology benefit management and technology company. AIM will remain headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, as a wholly owned operating division of WellPoint and will continue to be led by its president, Dave Harrington.
"The primary strategic goal of this acquisition is to achieve more affordable and appropriate diagnostic imaging services for our members," said Angela F. Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint. "AIM's leadership position in radiology management and technology will help enable WellPoint to further advance its initiatives to drive more value in health care by better managing rising health care costs, increase transparency and promote improved quality in patient outcomes."
AIM pioneered the integration of technology and clinical content for radiology management through the introduction of web-based prior authorization in 2002. This platform allows ordering physicians to directly submit information and receive real-time evaluation against widely accepted clinical guidelines through an easy-to-use interface.
AIM's web capabilities also help to improve quality and efficiency by facilitating information transfer between ordering physicians and rendering facilities to deliver a complete and correct understanding of the clinical order, helping to reduce potential waste and administrative burden caused by poor communication. AIM also introduced the first set of web-enabled tools to install cost and quality transparency into the selection of the best value in diagnostic imaging facilities.
AIM currently serves health plan clients representing over 20 million consumers. The acquisition of AIM will be accretive to earnings beginning in 2008.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This document contains certain forward-looking information about WellPoint, Inc. ("WellPoint") that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not generally historical facts. Words such as "expect(s)", "feel(s)", "believe(s)", "will", "may", "anticipate(s)", "intend", "estimate", "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions; statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future operations, products and services; and statements regarding future performance. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of WellPoint, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include: those discussed and identified in public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") made by WellPoint; increased government regulation of health benefits, managed care and pharmacy benefit management operations; trends in health care costs and utilization rates; our ability to secure sufficient premium rate increases; our ability to contract with providers consistent with past practice; competitor pricing below market trends of increasing costs; reduced enrollment, as well as a negative change in our health care product mix; risks and uncertainties regarding the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug benefits program, including potential uncollectability of receivables resulting from processing and/or verifying enrollment (including facilitated enrollment), inadequacy of underwriting assumptions, inability to receive and process information, uncollectability of premium from members, increased pharmaceutical costs, and the underlying seasonality of the business; a downgrade in our financial strength ratings; litigation and investigations targeted at health benefits companies and our ability to resolve litigation and investigations within estimates; our ability to achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in the WellChoice, Inc. acquisition within the expected time frames or at all, and to successfully integrate our operations; our ability to meet expectations regarding repurchases of shares of our common stock; funding risks with respect to revenue received from participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs and the complex regulations imposed on Medicare fiscal intermediaries; events that result in negative publicity for the health benefits industry; failure to effectively maintain and modernize our information systems and e-business organization and to maintain good relationships with third party vendors for information system resources; events that may negatively affect our license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; possible impairment of the value of our intangible assets if future results do not adequately support goodwill and other intangible assets; intense competition to attract and retain employees; unauthorized disclosure of member sensitive or confidential information; changes in the economic and market conditions, as well as regulations, applicable to our investment portfolios; possible restrictions in the payment of dividends by our subsidiaries and increases in required minimum levels of capital and the potential negative affect from our substantial amount of outstanding indebtedness; general risks associated with mergers and acquisitions; various laws and our governing documents may prevent or discourage takeovers and business combinations; potential hedging activities in our common stock; future bio-terrorist activity or other potential public health epidemics; and general economic downturns. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof. Except to the extent otherwise required by federal securities law, WellPoint does not undertake any obligation to republish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Readers are also urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures in WellPoint's SEC reports.
SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
CONTACT: Media, James P. Kappel, +1-317-488-6400, or Investor Relations, Michael Kleinman, +1-317-488-6713, both of WellPoint, Inc.