Health Information Exchange Featured Article

August 29, 2012

Aetna to Help Providers, Employees, Members through IT Services for Better Health

Phone and cable TV companies have been getting into the healthcare business, seeing how profitable it is. Now insurers are getting into the IT business.

Health insurer Aetna has just announced its intention to offer information technologies to providers, employers and members to help improve outcomes and drive down costs, according to Joseph Goedert.

Aetna Innovation Labs will use data and best practices, initially through two programs.

Healthcare organizations everywhere are benefiting from everything – digital monitors that remotely track patients’ health, and analyzing and aggregating big data like IBM and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which are partnering to develop a powerful tool to help improve the ability of healthcare providers to “personalize” treatments to cancer patients’ needs.

First to be provided by Aetna is the cancer care clinical decision support software of eviti Inc., which the insurer has licensed and will offer free to oncology providers, making it available through its Medicity health information exchange platform, initially in New York and New Jersey.

eviti’s website says it brings together doctors, patients and payers immediately after diagnosis.

Goedert noted in his story that Aetna will also use “the data analytics supercomputer technology of GNS Healthcare to analyze employers’ data to identity targeted programs for covered members at risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.”

The insurer is initially piloting the program with a large, unnamed employer.

Aetna’s been busy lately, recently acquiring Coventry Health Care in a deal valued at $7.3 billion, which boosted Aetna’s Medicaid and Medicare coverage. The company also added two programs to fight diabetes in Texas this month. 

More than 1.7 million adults in Texas are living with diabetes – 12 percent more than the national average.

In addition, the insurer announced today that online voting is under way in the 2012 “Aetna Voices of Health” national campaign, created in 2011 “to honor groups that share its goals of closing racial and ethnic health care quality gaps and helping people live healthier lives.”

Edited by Braden Becker