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Companies Settle Discount Card Program Dispute

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One of the first companies to sell preferred provider organization-style discounts separately from health insurance is settling a legal dispute with a former distributor.[@@]

Precis Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, the developer of the Care Entr?e medical care discount program, says its Capella Group Inc. unit has negotiated a settlement agreement with Equal Access Health Inc., Arlington, Texas.

Equal Access filed a suit in May that accused Care Entr?e program administrators of providing bad service.

The terms of the Capella Group-Equal Access settlement “are confidential but do not involve the payment of any amount of money by either party to the other,” Precis says in a statement. “Equal Access Health no longer sells the Care Entree product, but Care Entree has agreed to continue to provide services for members previously sold by Equal Access Health for a run-off period.”

Equal Access has issued a promissory note to Care Entree for amounts that it currently owes and for amounts that it will be obligated to pay Care Entree for certain future services, Precis says.

The settlement agreement gives Equal Access the right to sell health discount cards from Care Entr?e’s competitors, Precis says.

The Care Entr?e program started in 1997, and the program’s parent company merged with Precis, a company that trades on Nasdaq, in 2001. Precis helped found the Consumer Health Alliance, a discount card group that has established a discount card program code of conduct.