Verizon CEO Named to Federal Health Care Commission

NEW YORK - Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg has been named to a federal commission to develop a strategy for health care information technology standards. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, appointed the Verizon executive to the panel.

"Ivan Seidenberg will bring a keen eye for technology and a steady focus on fiscal accountability to the work of this commission, Frist said. "As a large employer, Verizon is a recognized advocate for public policies that improve health care delivery for the entire country. Ivan clearly believes, as I do, that technology can improve health care quality and affordability, and I am pleased that he has agreed to serve on this commission."

Seidenberg is the only executive from a large corporation selected for the 11-member panel, the Commission on Systemic Interoperability, which was established by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. The commission will develop a comprehensive strategy for adoption and implementation of technical standards for the storage and transmission of patient records, tests and other data. The health care industry has trailed other business segments in using computers to enhance health care delivery.

"I look forward to applying the lessons we've learned in the telecommunications industry to the work of this commission," Seidenberg said. "My participation is just one of the ways Verizon can impact the quality and cost of health care delivery. We believe that improving the U.S. health care system is a daunting but desirable policy goal for Verizon, and we will be actively pursuing that goal in the months and years ahead."

The commission is composed of three members appointed by the president and two each by the Senate majority and minority leaders, the speaker of the House, and the House minority leader. The commission, which will collaborate with Dr. David J. Brailer, national health information technology coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, has an Oct. 31, 2005, deadline for developing a strategy and reporting to the Congress and administration on implementation of the standards.

Verizon, which operates businesses throughout the United States, provides health care benefits to more than 800,000 people, including 207,000 employees, 200,000 retirees, and families of both groups. In 2003, the company spent $3.2 billion on health care benefits including prescription drug coverage and dental care. The company is a leader in coalitions such as the Leapfrog Group and Bridges to Excellence, which reward hospitals and physicians for improving patient care.

Verizon Communications

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.