September 24, 2008
Aetna Makes Health Care Cost Information Available to More Members With the Expansion of Aetna’s Industry-Leading Transparency Initiatives
Americans are taking on more financial responsibility for their health care and, as a result, need access to a robust suite of tools and information in order to make informed decisions. To support and encourage members to be informed health care consumers, Aetna (NYSE:AET) today announced the expansion of its health care transparency initiatives to additional markets including Connecticut; Massachusetts; Fort Myers, Fla.; Colorado; Raleigh/Durham, NC; Ohio; Pittsburgh, PA; West Virginia and other locations.
"We know that many people conduct online research before making major buying decisions. In fact, according to a Pew Internet and American Life report, 80 percent of American internet users, or some 113 million adults, have searched for health information online," said Aetna's President, Mark Bertolini. "Expanding the availability of our suite of cost tools allows us to provide valuable consumer information to more members and takes us another step closer to our goal of providing these resources to members nationwide."
Aetna's suite of health care transparency tools are available through Aetna Navigator, Aetna's secure member self-service website and include the following resources, which continue to expand over time:
-- Physician-specific Price Transparency - Launched in August 2005, this tool is now available in 49 markets and offers access to physician-specific pricing for up to 30 of the most common services and procedures, by specialty, such as routine office visits, allergy tests, x-rays and mammograms.
-- Physician-specific Clinical Quality and Efficiency Transparency - Launched in August 2006, this program provides members with physician-specific indicators based on adverse events, 30-day hospital re-admit rates, overall efficiency in use of medical services, and volume of Aetna members treated. Aetna members have access to clinical quality and efficiency information in 34 markets for 12 specialty categories including cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, gastroenterology, general surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, urology and vascular surgery.
-- Medical Procedure by Facility Cost - Launched in November 2007, this tool is now available in 36 markets and provides members with facility-specific and managing physician costs for over 30 common medical procedures- such as maternity care, CT scan, colonoscopy and sleep study - from admission through discharge.
In addition to the expansion to the cost tools, Aetna recently introduced the Aetna Navigator Health Information Guide for members looking for a starting point to find answers to questions about their health care, types of treatment and cost of services - before, during and after they seek care. The Health Information Guide, available to all Aetna Navigator registered members, is designed to improve and enhance a member's experience by providing them with links to tools, programs and health content available through Aetna Navigator that can help them make more informed health care decisions and choices.
Aetna members also have access to quality of care information for hospitals nationwide through the Aetna Navigator Hospital Comparison Tool. Members get an easy-to-understand report that helps them compare hospitals and make better decisions about where to access hospital care for themselves and their families. Members can compare hospitals based on the number of patients treated each year, complication rates, mortality rates and average length of stay for over 150 procedures and diagnoses. They can also review other hospital quality information such as results from The Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
Now, all consumers can "test-drive" Aetna's members-only resources on Aetna's public website. Beginning this month, all consumers have access to resources for researching cost and quality information, learning about the value of the CareEngine(R)-Powered Personal Health Record and finding out what other tools are available through Aetna Navigator. A demo of the tools available through Aetna Navigator is also available to reporters who request it.
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional 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. www.aetna.com