Aetna Makes it Easier for Members to Share Personal Health Information with Care Providers to Improve Quality Care

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that its members can more easily get timely electronic access to their health information, and securely share that information with their providers, caregivers, or family members. The announcement was made at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Consumer Health IT Summit in Washington, D.C. Personal health information can help save time, improve treatment, and even save lives.

Aetna members now have a Blue Button® option through their online personal health record (PHR) available through Aetna’s secure member website. This Blue Button capability means that information in a PHR can be securely downloaded into a simple text file. A text file can more easily be imported into other computer programs or personal health management tools for both patients and caregivers.

“Blue Button expands the ability of patients and their health care providers to easily share personal health information -- medications (including OTC), allergies and emergency contact information -- that will lead to more informed health care decisions. If we make it easier for patients and their doctors to share this kind of information with each other, we can improve the accuracy of treatment decisions. Ultimately, we’re always looking to create a more efficient and effective health care system that can deliver better health outcomes,” said Mark Bertolini, Aetna Chairman, CEO and President.

Aetna makes ONC pledges

As part of today’s summit, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, invited leading organizations with health IT interests to join in making data securely, conveniently and easily available to consumers, and engaging them in efforts to use their own electronic personal health information to improve their care and well-being.

Aetna is one of only two national insurers to join in today’s summit. Aetna has already implemented all aspects of the ONC’s campaign pledges as both a data holder and non-data holder, which means the company agrees to increase secure access to and encourage the increased use of personal health information among consumers and their health care providers.

Currently, Aetna members also have the option to share a read-only view of their PHR summary with Aetna network providers electronically through Aetna’s secure provider website. However, the new “Blue Button” text format provides more information than the summary and gives members’ more functionality in how they choose to use their health data.

By 2012, Aetna expects to give members the ability to send text files of their PHR data directly to their Aetna network providers through Aetna’s secure provider website. Aetna will continue to work with its subsidiaries and vendors to further increase patients’ and providers’ ability to quickly, easily and safely share health information.

Aetna’s industry-leading PHR is well positioned to significantly advance information sharing. Aetna has the only PHR that has measured impact on behavior, and has one of the highest adoption rates in the industry. Aetna’s PHR integrates information from claims systems, wellness programs and user-provided information so that members and their health care team have access to robust amounts of health information.

Through continued enhancements to the PHR and member tools and resources, Aetna continues to encourage individuals to access their personal health information and understand the benefits of using the information to improve their health care and their health.

[“Blue Button” is a registered Service Mark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an agency of the United States Government and is used by permission of VA]

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.5 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


Tammy Arnold, 713-721-7891
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