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Fort Worth-Based North Texas Specialty Physicians Undertakes Major Technology Upgrade Among Its 600 Participating Doctors

09/08/5

- Technology upgrade will help enhance patient care and facilitate physicians' move toward clinical integration -

FORT WORTH, Texas, and LYNDHURST, N.J., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP) and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the nation's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, announced today that NTSP physicians will use Quest Diagnostics' Care360 physician portal to better manage patients' laboratory test results, prescriptions and health records.

NTSP is an independent physician association that provides value-added services for a collective group of more than 600 family and specialty physicians in the Fort Worth area. It serves approximately 15,000 patients every day.

"We believe our use of Care360 for e-prescribing and electronically accessing laboratory results will help us care for our patients better. Care360 will help NTSP physicians see and care for patients in a more timely and effective way," said Tom Deas, M.D., NTSP President.

"Relying on paper documentation to store and share patient information can lead to wasted time, inefficiency and errors," said Richard A. Mahoney, Vice President, Healthcare Information Solutions at Quest Diagnostics. "We believe NTSP will benefit from using Care360 because it allows physicians to easily share information and adhere to clinical best practices."

Clinical integration refers to a linked network of primary care and specialty physicians working as a single team to coordinate care for patients. In a clinically integrated healthcare environment, physicians share clinical information; coordinate treatment; develop practice protocols; and monitor the compliance of individuals in the group.(1)

The Care360 physician portal enables doctors to order diagnostic tests and review laboratory tests online; prescribe medication at the point of care; view clinical and administrative information from multiple sources; file documents received electronically or in hard copy into a health record; and share confidential patient information with medical colleagues in a manner that is consistent with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy and security requirements. Care360 was developed by MedPlus, the healthcare information technology subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics.

The Care360 physician portal was enhanced with electronic prescribing services in October 2004 to include a live connection to RxHub, an electronic exchange for the prescribing industry, that lets physicians view medication histories for their patients, check pharmacy plan eligibility and formulary information, and write prescriptions electronically within seconds. More recently, Care360 established a direct electronic connection to the majority of retail pharmacies through the SureScripts Electronic Prescribing Network, enabling physicians to electronically transmit prescription orders.

Care360 is the only tool available from a laboratory provider that offers doctors a combination of actionable information, including lab results, pharmacy benefits and other clinical information, through a single log-on to help deliver better patient care. It can lead to better clinical insights, faster task completion, and provides physicians with the ability to consult with other physicians, both within their practice and located elsewhere.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its national network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at: http://www.questdiagnostics.com.

AboutMedPlus

MedPlus, the healthcare information technology subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics, is a leading developer and integrator of clinical connectivity and healthcare data management solutions that foster better patient care and improve business performance for healthcare institutions, physicians and patients. The company's ChartMaxx and Care360 solutions efficiently and securely collect, store, manage and integrate clinical information within an organization, enterprise, practice or community. ChartMaxx, the award-winning electronic patient record solution, has been implemented in more than 100 hospitals and clinics with over 115,000 clinical and administrative users. Care360 is a patient-centric physician portal providing a network of over 50,000 physicians and their staff with tools to improve patient care and overall office efficiency. For more information, visit the Company's Web site at http://www.medplus.com.

About NTSP

North Texas Specialty Physicians -- known as NTSP -- is an Independent Physician Association comprised of over 600 family and specialty doctors dedicated to delivering the best medical care to the residents of Tarrant, Johnson and Parker Counties in North Central Texas. Unlike some physician groups, NTSP is governed by a board comprised solely of local doctors and is managed by resident health care experts. Since its founding in 1995, NTSP doctors have delivered high quality medical care to over 15,000 patients every work day. For more information visit http://ntspmd.com.

The statements in this press release which are not historical facts or information may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to be materially different. Certain of these risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to, competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors described in the Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 2004 Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

(1) Source: Thomas B. Leary, "The Anti-Trust Implications of 'Clinical
Integration': An Analysis of FTC Staff's Advisory Opinion to
MedSouth," http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/leary/eicreview.pdf, p.5.,
April 12, 2002.

SOURCE North Texas Specialty Physicians; Quest Diagnostics

CONTACT:
Laure Park, Investors, +1-201-393-5030,
or Jennifer Somers - Media, +1-201-393-5700,
both of Quest Diagnostics,
or Chris Gavras, +1-817-737-3656 of North Texas Specialty Physicians

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