CareCounsel Wins Contract to Provide Healthcare Assistance Program

San Rafael, CA, January 27, 1998 — CareCounsel LLC, today announced it will provide its innovative Healthcare Assistance Program to Target Specialty Products, a leading specialty agricultural chemical distribution company based in Los Angeles County with employees across California, Oregon and Arizona. Target employees and their families can now access CareCounsel's toll-free number for assistance with a broad range of issues impacting consumers in the new managed care environment.

CareCounsel staff acts as advocates, helping employees get their needs met in a complicated, poorly understood healthcare system. They provide assistance with selecting health plans, choosing primary care physicians and specialists, locating disease-specific resources and resolving service and quality concerns with medical providers and health plans. CareCounselors serve as coaches helping patients become more active, assertive partners in health decision-making.

Employees receive consultation and educational material on topics like: Assertive Healthcare Strategies, Filing a Health Plan Grievance, Keeping a Personal Health Record, Long Term Care Insurance, Maximizing Your Healthcare $$$, Understanding Medicare and When Someone You Love Has Cancer. CareCounselors provide ongoing assistance, doing research and acting as a liaison to resolve complicated issues with health plans and medical providers. Employers receive comprehensive reports tracking usage by issue-type, location and health plan.

Target has also contracted for CareCounsel's Cancer Quality Care Review Program. Target employees facing cancer will be eligible to receive an independent expert review assessing the accuracy, completeness and overall quality of their diagnosis and treatment plan. If medically appropriate, the Quality Review Report also includes information about additional treatment options. CareCounsel offers this service through an agreement with world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"The CareCounsel Program is a timely employee benefit," according to Target President Lon Records. "We want to increase our employees' competence and confidence using health benefits, and CareCounsel offers a cost-effective solution that supports our human resources function. Once the word gets out, I expect that most companies who are concerned about healthcare quality will offer the CareCounsel Assistance Program."

CareCounsel, based in San Rafael, California, is the country's leading vendor of healthcare assistance programs. CareCounsel helps employees navigate the new healthcare environment through a telephone-based benefit that provides consumer education, advocacy and access to expert healthcare resources and information. The program is offered to employers, labor trusts and purchasing coalitions.

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