CHICAGO-Woodland Hills, Calif.-based WellPoint Health Networks has snagged the state of Illinois' health business, which previously was administered by Cigna HealthCare of Illinois. Unicare, WellPoint's national operating subsidiary, will provide claims administration, customer service, management of the state's hospital network and other services for more than 200,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents. Unicare, which now serves 124,000 enrollees in Illinois, plans to roll out a full managed-care product line there and in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
NAPERVILLE, Ill.-Naperville Physicians Organization late last month filed a lawsuit in state court against Edward Hospital in Naperville saying the facility interfered with contractual relationships between HMOs and physicians. The suit seeks monetary damages "in excess" of $25 million. In its suit, Naperville Physicians Organization said Edward violated state law, "which prohibits not-for-profit hospitals from employing physicians and illegally splitting physician fees." Edward officials wouldn't comment on the suit.