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CompuServe, WebMD Partner

CompuServe, a subsidiary of America Online Inc., and WebMD Inc., a full-service Internet health care site, Wednesday announced a two-year strategic partnership.

CompuServe will become the primary Internet service provider offered to WebMD Subscribers and WebMD will become an anchor tenant on CompuServe's Health Channel.

WebMD offers physicians a suite of Internet products including medical information, real-time insurance verification and referral authorizations, unified messaging and telephone-based patient test results. The group is comprised of more than 700,000 physicians in the United States.

"Access to WebMD content through our Health Channel will give CompuServe users the ability to find the most trustworthy and credible information available on health, medicine, medical conditions, health prevention, treatment and wellness quickly and easily," said CompuServe President Mayo S. Stuntz.

Together, WebMD and CompuServe will deliver a customized Internet software package to physician subscribers. The WebMD portal will be the access point for both WebMD content and CompuServe's services and health forums.

"CompuServe is committed to super-serving the healthcare community, and we have found an ideal partner in WebMD," Stuntz said.

"Together with WebMD, we will offer an Internet service customized to meet the unique needs of the health care community and are confident that WebMD's innovative services, comprehensive information and valuable distribution partnerships will result in usage by doctors, hospitals, insurers and patients."

"Health care professionals rely on WebMD for daily activities, from tools to help to manage their practice to researching medical content to verifying insurance records. WebMD needed an Internet service that was fast and very reliable - traits for which CompuServe has long been known. In addition, we are committed to providing members with superior customer service and CompuServe offered us value adds including a 24-hour dedicated, staffed phone line for WebMD subscribers who use CompuServe," said Jeff Arnold, chairman and chief executive officer of WebMD.