Aetna embraces consumerism through new C-suite hires

Aetna, which is already preparing to align cultures with merger partner Humana, is also striving to remake itself as a more consumer-focused company--starting with some of its top executives, according to the Hartford Courant.

Most recently, the insurer added Thomas J. Sabatino Jr. to its C-suite as executive vice president and general counsel. Sabatino had been the senior executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel at rental care company Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

"I am pleased to have him join our executive team as we develop a more consumer-centric approach to healthcare," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement.

In September, Aetna hired former OptumHealth CEO Rick Jelinek and put him in charge of leading the transition from one company to two when Aetna's merger with Humana is completed, FierceHealthPayer has reported.

That same month, Aetna hired former Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Gary Loveman as its executive vice president and president of consumer health and services, the Courant notes. Loveman said at the recent College of Healthcare Information Management Executives conference in Las Vegas that the healthcare industry must leverage data analytics tools in much the same way as the gaming industry has.  

Both Caesars and Hertz have record of tracking and managing their best customers, the Courant article points out, and hiring executives with those backgrounds speaks to Bertolini's desire to move Aetna away from being a company that only manages risk.

Bertolini, who says his personal experiences with the healthcare industry have driven him to improve it, has previously taken steps to remake Aetna's corporate culture by increasing the wages of its lowest paid workers and offering employees free yoga and meditation classes.  

To learn more:
- read the Courant article
- here's Aetna's announcement

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