Aetna puts tech to work on better care

April 5, 2013 in Medical Technology

In the new world of healthcare — one that is focused on collaboration, accountability, providing better care and cutting costs — Aetna executives view the insurer’s newly minted Healthagen division, unveiled last month at HIMSS13, as an indispensible piece of getting things right.

They describe Healthagen as a portfolio of innovative and growing businesses that tackle the fundamental needs of greater value, coordination and transparency in healthcare. Healthagen brings together Aetna’s population health management solutions and health information technologies from acquisitions that include ActiveHealth Management, iTriage and Medicity.

“We have invested more than $1 billion to acquire and build a comprehensive collection of health management and health IT solutions to empower consumers and enable clinical integration and population health management.” says Joseph M. Zubretsky, senior executive vice president for Aetna’s national businesses.

[See also: Aetna buys Medicity for $500M.]

“What this really represents is a recognition by Aetna that people have previously used technology not just as an enabler of a particular capability,” says Charles Kennedy, MD, CEO of Aetna Accountable Care Solutions, “but healthcare is relying on technology as a driver of change.”

Kennedy is also a member of the federal Health IT Policy Committee.

As Kennedy sees it, bundling the various technology Aetna has acquired in recent years into a single brand – Healthagen – emphasizes that Aetna is about solutions, and, the solutions are specifically tied to connecting everyone involved to the healthcare of the patient, creating new insights and making sure the insights are actionable.

That, he says, is the way to achieve better care.

“If you then combine that with our healthcare management program, such as our Medicare provider collaborations that have a track record of reducing costs, improving quality and improving the patient experience with care – the so-called Triple Aim,” Kennedy says. “You can begin to see that scaling those kinds of approaches through Medicity, combined with proven care management programs, really allows Healthagen to service what is required for successful healthcare reform, which is achievement of the Triple Aim.”

[See also: Aetna aims to boost patient outcomes by asking ‘why not’.]

Like Kennedy, Charles E. Saunders, MD, Healthagen’s CEO, puts a high value on connectedness. “Healthagen businesses and solutions,” he says, “are enabling a new level of healthcare connectedness, insight and action.”

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