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Health Grades - Health Grades Health Guide Launch 09182006 (Page 1)

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Health Grades - Health Grades Health Guide Launch 09182006
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Scott Shapiro
(720) 963-6584
HealthGrades Launches New Decision-Support Suite
for Employers, Health Plans
-- HealthGrades HealthGuide Includes Ratings, Budget and Care-Management Tools --
-- Many Employers and Health Plans Already Use HealthGrades Ratings as a Benefit --
GOLDEN, Colo. (September 18, 2006) ­ HealthGrades today launched HealthGrades HealthGuide, a
suite of decision-support tools for large employers and health plans that direct their employees and plan
members to make better healthcare choices, resulting in lower healthcare costs. Typically offered as a free
benefit, HealthGuide includes HealthGrades' industry-leading healthcare ratings, personal budgeting tools
and state-of-the-art care-management tools.

"Dozens of major employers and health plans already offer HealthGrades' healthcare ratings as a trusted
benefit," said Nancy Brock, senior vice president of HealthGrades' Strategic Health Solutions group.
"Now HealthGrades HealthGuide has a complete suite of tools that empower healthcare consumers to
pro-actively take charge of their healthcare, enabling them to shop for high-quality care as well as manage
their finances and conditions. It's not just for employers and health plans offering consumer-driven plans,
but for organizations wishing to arm individuals with the best-of-breed consumer health tools they are

Individuals using HealthGuide typically access it from their company's or their health plan's intranet or
Web site, gaining free access to the suite of tools. Guided by an innovative "online consultant" that
provides on-demand video assistance, HealthGuide users have access to three main groups of tools, which
direct them to high-quality healthcare providers and provide them with tools to manage their personal
healthcare finances and take charge of their care.

Finding a High-Quality Provider
Individuals using HealthGrades HealthGuide can compare the quality of local hospitals through
HealthGrades' industry-standard, objective star ratings of nearly 100 procedures and treatments at every
nonfederal hospital in the country. Using the industry's most up-to-date physician database, users can also
quickly find a physician that is in their health plan, board certified, practices at a top-quality hospital, is
free from sanctions and highly rated by other patients. Quality ratings for nursing homes and home health
agencies are also available. By avoiding poor-quality healthcare providers, users of HealthGuide can also
avoid the poorer outcomes and higher costs associated with them.

Managing Healthcare Budgets
Studies show that costs are the number one healthcare concern among Americans. For those in high-
deductible health plans, and for anyone concerned about the rising cost of care, HealthGuide offers a
budgeting tool that allows users to plan their finances knowledgeably. A cost calculator provides likely
out-of-pocket costs for hospital, doctor, drug and laboratory costs, and another tool allows users to
compare health plans side by side.

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