Rick--there used to be that wash in between the color developer and the conditioner, but Kodak changed that about, I dunno, 5 yrs ago maybe when they ditched the stabilizer. you may remember using the conditioner before the bleach? Now, it's prebleach and the final rinse is like photo flo almost. Apparently the stabilization takes place in the pre-bleach now and is triggered by carryover of the color developer. So, if you wash in between the two, this undermines the stability.
It's a bit of a PIA in the processor we use as well--since it's automatic and we use an older process card (program). We have to manually step over this wash cycle, but otherwise it's still automatic. Kodak also says that the prewet step will throw off the process control and make it harder to acheive consistency, but we've run numerous control strip tests, and actually have much smoother plots with the prewet, than without, so to each his own....
like I said, our plots now are perfect & the film looks great, but if we mixed the chemistry like Kodak says to, right out of the box, they'd look much different.