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2004 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Is Named UnitedHealth PremiumSM Cardiac Specialty Center

National designation recognizes quality cardiac care

CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 26, 2004) - Morton Plant Hospital announced today that it has been designated a UnitedHealth PremiumSM cardiac specialty center, reflecting national recognition of the cardiac care it provides.

"We are very proud to be recognized for our excellence in cardiac care," stated Philip K. Beauchamp, chief executive officer and president of Morton Plant Hospital. "For nearly three decades, our pioneering treatments and procedures, along with our commitment to improving the health of the community have set us apart as health care leaders both locally and nationally."

The UnitedHealth Premium cardiac specialty centers program identifies hospitals nationwide that are leaders in providing cardiac care. Select hospitals in the UnitedHealthcare network are invited to apply for designation. Morton Plant is one of only 17 hospitals in Florida to be named a Cardiac Specialty Center.

The UnitedHealth Premium program evaluates and recognizes specific hospital and physician capabilities These capabilities include their quality processes, adherence to evidence-based approaches, compliance with nationally recognized guidelines published by clinical societies, and their broad capabilities to handle cardiac illness and its treatment through a continuum of stages.

Morton Plant conducts more open heart and interventional procedures than any other hospital in Pinellas County. Nearly 850 open heart surgeries and 2,946 interventional procedures are performed annually at Morton Plant Hospital. Last year, the hospital was the first on Florida's West Coast to implant the new drug-eluting stents. Other firsts in cardiac care include:

* first hospital in the county to have an electrophysiology program for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias

* first to perform coronary angioplasty and valvuloplasty

* first to perform minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass

In addition to being named a Cardiac Specialty Center, Morton Plant's achievements include a total of 11 Top 100 Hospital designations including Overall in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003; five consecutive Top 100 recognitions for cardiovascular care in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003; and one for orthopaedic care in 2000 and one for stroke care in 2000. In July 2003, Morton Plant announced plans for a new heart hospital as part of its major expansion project.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare ( is the largest business unit of parent UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH), a Fortune 100 company. UnitedHealthcare provides a full spectrum of resources and services to help people achieve improved health and well being. The company designs and operates organized health systems with commercial, Medicare and Medicaid products.


Contact: Beth Hardy 727/298-6199 (phone) 727/419-4471 (pager)