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HCIA-Sachs and HBS International Merge to Form Healthcare
Information Giant

The New Company Will be Named SOLUCIENT

ILLINOIS -- Dec. 4, 2000 -- HCIA-Sachs and HBS International (HBSI) today announced the completion of an agreement to merge the healthcare information businesses of both companies. HCIA-Sachs-the leading provider of strategic information, market intelligence, and analysis to the healthcare industry-along with HBSI, the nation's most influential source of healthcare process and outcomes information, are joining to form a new company to be named Solucient, which is headquartered in Evanston, IL. The head of the new company is HCIA-Sachs' CEO Bob Brown, while HBSI's President and CEO, Gregg Bennett, serves as President.

Solucient's owners will be the current owners of HCIA-Sachs, VS&A Communications Partners III, L.P., the private equity affiliate of New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler; VNU, one of the world's leading business to business media and information companies, and VHA Inc., a nationwide alliance of community-owned health care organizations and the former majority owner of HBS International. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the largest, broadest, and deepest information assets, Solucient provides hospital, managed care and pharmaceutical executives with access to a single, comprehensive source of intelligent market data to help ensure patients receive the best in clinical care while increasing revenues and managing the bottom line.

The new company's goal is to provide its client base with the best patient-focused information on the purchase, use, and outcome of various healthcare services. The combined data assets of both companies furnish a rich source of data that is unrivaled in the marketplace. Providers will use this information to improve quality, contain costs, and grow their business.

"In the final analysis, healthcare organizations want results," said Bob Brown. "The best results are created by finding the right answers to the right questions. In combining the resources of HCIA-Sachs and HBSI, we have become the premier provider of the information and solutions that our clients-healthcare payers, providers, employers, consultants, and pharmaceutical companies-need to get better results more quickly."

Solucient is committed to helping clients expand and better manage their businesses while providing results-driven solutions to help them market their products and services. This newly combined force is a partnership of like-minded professionals dedicated to providing strategic healthcare information, current market intelligence and analysis, and industry benchmarks. These invaluable assets will help clients improve patient care and achieve short- and long-term growth and profitability.

"HCIA-Sachs is clearly the right partner for us; our combined data and analytical assets are clearly the right choices for our clients," added Gregg Bennett. "As the recognized leaders in aggregating hospital process and outcomes data, HBSI brings a strong, critical capability to Solucient. Our new and combined strength also comes from the experienced executives we've brought together. We're eager and proud to face the future with such an excellent team of colleagues."

"Solucient, like HCIA-Sachs and HBSI, is a client-driven organization," said Brown. "Our clients demand service and support. As the leading source of strategic healthcare information, we have important responsibilities to our customers-to focus on their future needs, to continue developing innovative solutions, to deliver exceptional service, and to provide value. We fulfill that mission every day when the answers we provide get the results our clients expect."

About VNU Marketing Information, Inc. VNU MI, Inc. is an established leader in providing innovative precision-marketing intelligence, data tools and enhancement systems and solutions to a wide variety of industries including healthcare; retail, consumer package goods, food; entertainment; and media & agencies. Other VNU, MI Inc. divisions include Claritas Inc. and Spectra Marketing Systems. VNU MI, Inc. is a subsidiary of VNU, Inc. which also includes Nielsen Media Research; a majority interest in NetRatings; VNU Business Media which encompasses Bill Communications, BPI Communications, VNU Expositions and VNU eMedia; and SRDS.

VNU is one of the world's leading media and information companies and has leading market positions in business information, marketing and media information, directories and information services, consumer magazines, as well as educational publishing. Worldwide, VNU employs approximately 16,000 people and has annual revenues of more than $2.8 billion (1999).

About VS&A Communications Partners
VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, is one of the largest private equity funds dedicated exclusively to making equity investments in companies engaged in the media, communications, and information industries. Since its inception in 1987, VS&A has raised three funds, the latest of which, VS&A Communications Partners III, was capitalized in February 1999 at $1 billion. In addition to HCIA-Sachs, Fund III has acquired the following portfolio companies: Hanley-Wood, the leading B2B publisher focused on the fast-growing residential construction industry; Data Transmission Network (DTN), a leading B2B information services and e-commerce company serving the agriculture, weather, energy, and financial services industries, and Phillips Business Information Inc., a full service business media company engaged in trade magazine publishing, business information services, and conferences & trade shows. Fund III owns a minority stake in London-based ITE, one of the leading trade show organizers in Europe. Fund III also participated in the equity financing of ionex telecommunications, one of the fastest-growing providers of broadband communications services.

About VHA
VHA Inc. is a nationwide network of more than 2,000 leading community-owned health care organizations and their affiliated physicians. The VHA alliance comprises 27 percent of the nation's community hospitals, including many of the nation's largest and most respected institutions. VHA offers programs and services to improve financial and clinical performance, and as a cooperative distributes income annually to members based on their participation. In December 1999, VHA was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune.
For more information on VHA, go to www.vha.com.

SOURCE HCIA-Sachs
Web Site: www.hciasachs.com


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