Aetna touts health IT as cost cutter in new marketing campaign

Aetna is hoping a new marketing campaign can help boost its efforts to encourage provider coordination and enhance the use of health technologies.

Called "Our Healthy," Aetna's campaign is geared toward human resources professionals, providers and policymakers and will include ads online, in print and on mobile devices, reported The New York Times.

"We believe that the healthcare system is desperately in need of improvement," Robert Mead, Aetna's senior vice president of marketing, product and communications, told the Times. In talking with the newspaper, he referred to an Institute of Medicine report that found more than $760 billion was wasted in healthcare each year because of consumer fraud, unnecessary procedures and excessive administrative costs.

The problem, he said, is consumers don't know the cost or value of healthcare services. "We have to bring everybody to the table," Mead said.

Aetna's campaign also emphasizes the importance of providers shifting to an accountable care model, which is often associated with technology that helps providers measure performance and manage data.

"The Affordable Care Act encourages the system to move to accountable care," Mead said. "The challenge with that is that doctors and hospitals need technology and support to make that work."

That's why Aetna launched a new division within the company, Healthagen, to sell health technology services to providers. And Aetna empowers its provider partners with unprecedented access to claims data through its accountable care program, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

But not everyone believes technology can reduce healthcare waste. "When you're talking about having to manage waste in the system, most would agree that a lack of coordination rests at the heart of a lot of it," Robert Huckman, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, told the Times. "Data without an educated way of querying that data is not helpful. It is a start."

To learn more:
- read the New York Times article

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