HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) today pledged to support the Partnership for Patients as part of the company’s ongoing patient safety and clinical excellence efforts. The initiative brings together stakeholders from across the health care system to achieve two common patient safety goals: reducing harm caused to patients in hospitals and reducing hospital readmissions. A safer, higher quality health care system will save thousands of lives and billions of dollars for all Americans.
“Patient safety is a critical element of Aetna’s overall clinical strategy, and a major part of our efforts to move toward more evidence-based care. In 2001, we were the first health care company to join the Leapfrog Group’s efforts to improve the safety, quality and affordability of health care,” said Aetna Chairman, CEO and President Mark Bertolini. “During the past ten years, we have made significant investments to develop the clinical programs and technological capabilities necessary to help provide doctors and hospitals in Aetna’s network with the clinical decision-making tools that aid in their efforts to improve health outcomes for patients. Today’s pledge is an extension of our important work in patient safety and health initiatives.”
Aetna’s Leadership in Patient Safety
Aetna’s commitment to patient safety spans across multiple points of the health care system. Examples of Aetna’s work include:
- Incentives for doctors and hospitals to improve quality and safety: Aetna's physician and hospital incentive programs identify and target areas of opportunity to improve the overall quality, safety and cost-efficiency of health care. Aetna’s provider incentive programs, known as Pathways to Excellencesm, use evidence-based measures and credible data to recognize and promote quality and reward providers for achieving demonstrated improvements in care for members.
- Leveraging technology: Aetna has invested billions in clinically focused, technology-driven resources that make the health care system work better. Through ActiveHealth Management’s CareEngine® technology, Aetna can scan available data and provide “Care Considerations” to doctors and patients. In 2010, ActiveHealth sent 19 million individualized Care Consideration messages to physicians and patients identifying potential opportunities to improve care. In a study of more than 39,000 individuals, the CareEngine identified potentially serious medical errors for nearly one of every 20 people, and helped reduce hospitalizations among the study population by 8.4 percent.
- Designing payment models to reward quality and share costs savings: New payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), are another example of how collaboration with providers can improve outcomes and patient safety. ACOs provide personalized patient care through the effective coordination of treatment plans. Aetna’s ACO work began three years ago in Medicare Advantage and continues today with a recently announced relationship with Carilion Clinic.
- Educating patients and consumers: In health care, knowledge is power. One of the most effective ways to improve safety is to ensure that patients are informed and engaged in their health care. Aetna has developed online resources such as hospital comparison tools, educational resources such as our consumer website BeSmartAboutYourHealth and InteliHealth, as well as a Patient Safety webpage to help people stay informed, invested and involved in their care.
- Improving medication safety: Errors in prescription medication, harmful drug interactions, and poor medication management can have a significant impact on health and health care costs. Aetna’s new relationship with CVS Caremark provides opportunities to improve safety at the point of care and clinical programs, such as Rx Check®, identify opportunities to improve care, prevent prescription misuse and reduce waste in the health care system.
- Working with other large employers to drive change: Through the Leapfrog Group, Aetna and other large employers are driving transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care. Aetna recently announced a number of infant safety programs launched in collaboration with The Leapfrog Group and others that encourage women, doctors and hospitals to limit electively scheduled deliveries until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy.
“Improving the quality and safety of health care is one of the most valuable contributions that we make to the health care system,” said Lonny Reisman, M.D., Aetna’s chief medical officer. “Our work to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of health care will not only make health care safer, but will also ensure the sustainability of the health care system for generations to come.”
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.3 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 www.aetna.com. To learn more about Aetna's innovative online tools, visit www.aetnatools.com.
Aetna Media Contact:
Tammy Arnold, 713/721-7891
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