KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Summit Medical Group has signed on to the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) network for BlueAdvantage, BlueCross’ Medicare Advantage plan. The contract is effective Jan. 1, 2009.

The addition of this premier provider group offers BlueCross Medicare Advantage members an even wider range of physician and health care choices in the East Tennessee region.

“We’re excited about Summit Medical Group joining our health care network,” said Robert Slattery, vice president and general manager of Medicare Advantage for BlueCross. “The addition of Summit Medical Group to our PPO program reinforces our commitment to offer Medicare Advantage members the quality and convenience they’ve come to expect from BlueCross.”

Started in 1995, Summit Medical Group currently has 210 primary care physicians at 51 sites in ten counties throughout the East Tennessee region and treats approximately 300,000 patients. For more information on Summit Medical Group, visit www.summitmedical.com.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.