LEAWOOD, Kan.--(AET) and Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri announced this week the Aetna Whole Health Midwest Community Health Solutions Plan. The new group health plan will provide a more coordinated health care experience designed to improve the health outcomes of those enrolled at a premium that is approximately 5 to 12 percent lower than Aetna’s other local products.)--Aetna (NYSE:
“This new plan builds on Heartland’s track record of successfully working with local businesses.”
“Heartland is incredibly progressive in its approach to wellness and its outreach to businesses and their employees to improve their overall health,” said Keith Barnes, president of Aetna’s Kansas and Missouri markets. “This new plan builds on Heartland’s track record of successfully working with local businesses.”
“Aetna is unique among insurance companies because it has a very sophisticated system for gathering and synthesizing information about its members’ health, and providing insights into the potential outcomes and costs,” explained Linda Bahrke, an administrator at Heartland.
“Through the ActiveHealth CareEngine®, Heartland monitors the health care conditions of its Aetna members and alerts physicians when there are potential opportunities to improve patient care,” Bahrke continued. “Aetna provides information that helps everyone more effectively coordinate care – things like an alert when a member isn’t taking the medication that was prescribed; suggestions of potential therapies that might be recommended for the diagnosis but that haven’t been undertaken; and suggestions of tests for certain diagnoses that might not have been ordered. You just don’t see this sophistication with a lot of other health insurance companies.”
“When you merge Heartland’s strength of working with businesses on wellness and Aetna’s strength of collecting and making valuable use of medical information, it creates an excellent health insurance product that is unique not only here, but throughout the country,” said Barnes.
Heartland and Aetna say this group health insurance product is targeted to businesses that want to invest in their employees’ health and are willing to take the steps necessary to make the plan effective. This includes encouraging employees to take a voluntary health assessment and undergo biometric screening. In addition, Heartland wellness and care management staff will work with businesses to conduct onsite reviews of the results with employees and help them more effectively manage and access their health care. Heartland staff may also make proactive outreaches to health plan members during the year.
“A strong commitment to wellness and getting employees more involved with their health care is vitally important for this type of plan to be effective,” said Barnes.
Because of Aetna’s extensive health information technology capabilities, the company is able to identify an employer’s health-related problem areas and offer Heartland programming to address those problem areas. For instance, the report might indicate 30 percent of a company’s employees wish to lose weight. Heartland can help the employer provide weight management support for their employees. If there are a large percentage of people with diabetes, Heartland can set up diabetic education sessions at the worksite. On an individual basis, if an employee has a particular diagnosis, but hasn’t had an important test or treatment, Aetna’s systems can highlight the missing item and Heartland can contact the individual’s physician to see if there was a particular reason for the omission.
The goal is to help individuals receive the finest care possible using the best practices known in medicine. Following this approach and being proactive with the management of chronic disease ultimately helps hold down health care costs, avoiding costlier care when chronic diseases and health risks are neglected.
Heartland has had a very proactive approach in dealing with the health of its own employees over the last 10 years and has seen annual increases of less than six percent in its health insurance premiums, often considerably less than the increases other local businesses face. “We see it as proof that this type of approach works,” said Bahrke.
The new Heartland/Aetna plan is currently available for fully insured group purchasers. However, Heartland and Aetna plan to expand to individual plans and self-insured plans in the future.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 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.
About Heartland Health
Heartland Health, an integrated health delivery system in St. Joseph, Mo., includes a medical center, physician practices and a foundation. Heartland seeks to improve the health of area individuals and communities and to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place, at the right cost with outcomes second to none. Through commitment to this mission, Heartland Health has become the healthcare leader in a 21-county area of northwest Missouri, northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska. www.heartland-health.com.