Aetna, Banner add power to ACO

By Bernie Monegain
12:15 PM

Insurer adds technology support for population health management, services

HARTFORD, CT – Healthcare insurer Aetna is providing Banner Health Network full technology support for population health management and patient services for more than 200,000 patients.

The agreement with Banner includes support for the 50,000 Medicare fee-for-service patients covered under the Pioneer ACO shared savings program and members in Aetna’s ACO relationship with Banner Health Network.

Aetna will roll out what its executive call its “technology stack” and care management services to support improved care quality, coordination and convenience for Banner Health doctors and their patients.
Aetna will implement these capabilities:

Health information exchange technology from Medicity to enable the secure, two-way exchange of health information across a patient’s entire care team, including hospitals, physicians, labs, pharmacies and other ambulatory services;

• Active CareTeam from Active Health Management to give physicians access to CareEngine-powered, point-of-care clinical decision support services and a desktop-based workflow tool to track, monitor, coordinate and report on patient health outcomes; and

• Smartphone and online appointment setting and pre-registration services for patients through iTriage, one of the most downloaded health and fitness apps in both the iTunes App store and Android market

“In order to succeed in the delivery of high quality, high experience, affordable care, we must integrate clinical activities across the patient’s continuum of care,” said Tricia Nguyen, MD, chief medical officer for Banner Health Network. “This requires data sharing among our providers, and the workflow integration that can result. Actionable data is the currency for change in healthcare.”

“Today’s traditional electronic medical records have limited value in providing the level of clinical insights needed to succeed in accountable care organizations,” said Charles Kennedy, MD, chief executive officer for Aetna Accountable Care Solutions. “Aetna technologies marry clinical and claim information to create a broader patient record available to the entire care team. Then we bring evidence-based intelligence, workflow tools and care management services to help physicians monitor, measure, coordinate and improve patient care.”

Banner Health Network is an Arizona patient care and business partnership between Arizona Integrated Physicians, the Banner Medical Group, the Banner Physician Hospital Organization and Banner Health.
More than 2,600 Banner-affiliated physicians in the Phoenix metro area are part of the network.

In December 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center announced it had selected the Banner Health Network as one of 32 organizations participating in the new Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) initiative. The Pioneer ACO Model began Jan.1, 2012, and is one of several initiatives under way at CMS designed to support the formation of ACOs.

The combination of technology and services from Medicity, ActiveHealth and iTriage, all Aetna subsidiaries, represents the largest implementation of Aetna’s provider and patient technologies to date. The combined Aetna technologies will complement existing Banner technology to power what Aetna executives call “a new level” of clinical integration and convenience in healthcare.