HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In recognition of his efforts to bring attention to and reduce disparities in health care and substance abuse and addiction, Ronald A. Williams, chairman and CEO of Aetna (NYSE:AET), received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. The organization, which presented the award to Williams on March 27, also recognized his commitment to partnering with hospitals, academic organizations and community health care centers.
Aetna’s recent initiatives have included:
“CASA takes great pride in honoring Ron Williams for his commitment and invaluable efforts to bring attention to disparities in health care based on racial, ethnic and gender differences,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “Aetna’s longstanding and civic commitment to enhance health and educational resources in the community helps shape a healthier world for our nation’s children and their families.”
“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of Aetna and regard it as a strong endorsement of Aetna’s efforts to not only eliminate disparities in health care, but encourage healthy lifestyles, timely screenings, accessible medication and regular care,” said Williams. “We’re also committed to providing our members tools to help them speak more confidently and effectively with their physicians so that they can take greater control of their health and well-being.”
Williams also took the opportunity to announce that Aetna will launch a Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) program that enables primary care physicians to identify and treat alcohol and drug problems in members during routine medical appointments and reimburse those physicians for the screenings. In November of 2007, the American Medical Association approved two new Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) evaluation codes that physicians can use to be reimbursed for these types of screenings. Aetna has adopted those codes.
CASA is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA has issued 66 reports and white papers, published one book, conducted demonstration projects focused on children, families and schools at 218 sites in 81 cities and counties in 31 states plus Washington, DC and two Native American tribal reservations, and has been evaluating the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment in a variety of programs and drug courts. CASA is the creator of the nationwide initiative Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM -- the fourth Monday in September – the 22nd in 2008 – that promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children’s risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. In May of 2007, CASA Chairman Joseph A. Califano, Jr., called for a fundamental shift in the nation’s attitude about substance abuse and addiction with the publication of his book, HIGH SOCIETY: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It. For more information: http://www.casacolumbia.org/.
* The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as "CASA”) or any of its member organizations, or any other organizations with the name of "CASA".
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 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