Partnerships, value-based care key to Aetna’s development technique

Photograph: Porter Gifford/Retired/Contributor/Getty Pictures

Partnerships, expertise and value-based care – these are among the essential pillars round which Aetna is strategizing for the long run. The healthcare business is altering, and the CVS Well being-owned insurer is doing what it might to vary together with it.

It is a willingness to evolve that’s holding payers within the business important. And this evolution is critical given quickly shifting market dynamics: Worth-based care preparations are elbowing out fee-for-service preparations in a bid for supremacy, Medicare Benefit is exploding in reputation, and expertise is altering the way in which payers and suppliers talk with one another, and with their sufferers. In 2022, it pays to be nimble.

Invoice Lamoureaux, senior vp, nationwide community technique and supplier expertise at Aetna, mentioned these modifications are inevitable and vital. And he is assured that Aetna’s plan for the long run is a robust one.

“Rising networks is all the time a relentless,” mentioned Lamoureaux. “The distinction as we speak is the tempo and alter and the creativity that is coming to market is larger than ever.”

Aetna’s plan is to give attention to partnerships that tackle the holistic wants of a given inhabitants, each clinically and non-clinically. The general imaginative and prescient is to not simply evolve how members are receiving care in present well being programs, however to grasp how these programs are altering from an business perspective.

That philosophy has led to the corporate launching, for instance, a team-based celular remedy community, and an acupuncture profit community to offer extra different care options. Aetna can also be rising its dental supply system and increasing its digital footprint.

Additionally, mentioned Lamoureaux, “We’re very centered on value-based care, coordinating with suppliers to focus on higher outcomes, higher availability.”


In line with Lamoureaux, the corporate tends to consider partnerships from the angle of the member and what they’re trying to obtain. Nevertheless it’s additionally making an attempt to maintain tabs on the place suppliers are of their value-based journeys.

“Some are at totally different spots in that journey,” he mentioned. “There are new, rising firms, and a few that will have extra expertise and are extra developed, and so how do you work together with each segments of the supplier inhabitants? We’re making an attempt to do each.”

One high-profile partnership that has developed is with the Cleveland Clinic. In 2020, Aetna teamed up with the well being system to kind an Accountable Care Group that was supplied to new plan sponsors within the Cleveland space. The pairing additionally developed an institute of high quality round cardiac surgical procedure, one of many companies by which Cleveland Clinic has made its title.

Aetna can also be coping with newer gamers, particularly within the realms of major and specialty care. It is at present working with a gaggle to broaden entry to autism care, with the objective of finally reaching higher outcomes for these with the neurological situation. One other partnership is concentrated on making a program to handle adolescent consuming issues, with around-the-clock digital therapy. That program is about to broaden in 2023.

What provides Aetna a aggressive benefit over different insurers, mentioned Lamoureaux, is its capability to faucet into CVS Well being property to help with value-based partnerships. CVS Well being supplies a retail footprint and pharmacy help.

“We’re making an attempt to work with suppliers who might have points with after-hours protection, or want help with medical reconciliations,” mentioned Lamoureaux. “We have collaborated with some suppliers on maternity program help for pregnant ladies. We’re making an attempt to flex these CVS property for the wants of the member neighborhood and supplier neighborhood.”


Through the years, shoppers have more and more come to count on comfort, personalised care and a extra retail-like purchasing expertise. The COVID-19 pandemic solely accelerated these traits.

One of many large challenges for Aetna is making members conscious of those capabilities, and driving the speedy adoption of the options that make these capabilities potential. In that sense, placing these forms of options into the community is simply step one; the endgame is elevating consciousness within the conventional supply system, significantly the first care neighborhood. The corporate is holding a detailed eye on its analytics to make sure it takes the very best actions towards these options.

As all the time, the corporate is evaluating the competitors throughout totally different markets and segments. There are a selection of essential focuses Aetna is prioritizing to make sure its aggressive place. One is increasing its base of companions and companies, with a watch towards advancing innovation and adoption. One other is a eager give attention to the supplier expertise – how the group engages not simply value-based suppliers however the fee-for-service neighborhood. And Aetna can also be emphasizing expertise to advance its administrative method, probably eliminating some challenges for the supplier neighborhood.

An rising space of focus is round prior authorizations, with the corporate at present investing in automating the authorization course of, for instance by permitting the sharing of medical notes via digital well being programs.

“As new approaches come to market from the digital enviornment, we’re an early adopter of these, working them into the material of what we’re doing,” mentioned Lamoureaux.

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the healthcare business each clinically and financially, with the cancellation of non-emergency procedures and folks delaying routine care. By means of the challenges, Aetna believes it has discovered some classes.

“Whereas a variety of suppliers have been stretched skinny financially, we noticed among the present neighborhood that had adopted value-based rules thrive via the pandemic,” mentioned Lamoureaux. “Everyone discovered … that sure value-based care preparations keep constant money movement in comparison with the fee-for-service mannequin. Prepayment is changing into a extra fashionable idea now by the day. It is a extra proactive method to value-based care. We’re shifting that mannequin from present native and nationwide companions to extra aggressively rising it nationally in help of native market wants.”

Plenty of that perception was gleaned from Aetna’s personal inside analysis, which discovered 62% of physicians in value-based care preparations say it has a excessive impression on altering outcomes and modifying behaviors.

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