Aetna Encourages Evidence-Based Treatment Decisions Through Education Program for Providers

-- Increasing awareness of effectiveness and cost of treatment options can lead to improved patient care --

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) is encouraging physicians in its network to participate in an education program from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that will make it easier for them to make health care decisions based on the latest research, reviews, and guides to evidence-based care within their specialty areas.

AHRQ uses academic detailing, a proven education model used in other industries, as one method to promote research findings, products and tools from the Agency’s Effective Health Care (EHC) program. AHRQ’s academic detailers provide summaries of the evidence to help physicians deliver the safest, most effective treatments for their patients.

“Aetna fully supports AHRQ’s work to promote the use of evidence-based health services,” said Ed Pezalla, M.D., M.P.H., Aetna chief pharmacy officer. “Through AHRQ's research and education, doctors can quickly find information on treatment options that are supported by rigorous clinical review, which leads to better outcomes and better overall health for our members."

AHRQ funds research across the country that produces “comparative effectiveness reports” for clinicians, consumers, and policymakers. The comparative effectiveness reports compare drugs, medical devices, tests, and methods of care delivery based on clinical evidence.

In coordination with Total Therapeutic Management (TTM), the organization that provides the EHC program educational outreach, AHRQ will provide continuing education and academic credit to physicians who take part in the EHC program. The group expects to conduct 9,000 EHC program educational outreach sessions during the next three years. TTM has already completed outreach to 1,847 physicians and health care practice sites in 29 states. To date, more than half of the physicians who have completed the program participate in Aetna’s network.

“Aetna’s commitment to this initiative will help us make better use of patient centered research by helping to transfer knowledge to doctors in their network,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D. “The continuing education credits that doctors can earn are important, but the real benefit goes to the patients who will achieve better health through the use of evidence-based care.”

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see


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