old people, lake, dock, laughing, happy

One life changing story shows how nurses save lives every day

Apr 28 2016

Nurses save lives every day. Sometimes, it’s a simple phone call that helps turn a life around.

For a man with diabetes and a gastric bypass who learned he needed quadruple bypass heart surgery, the latest diagnosis was just too much. When Aetna nurse care manager Marianne Harris-Merz reached out to him, she found he had a serious case of the “cardiac blues.”

“He was really struggling with the fact that he was only 40 years old and was having open heart surgery,” she explained. His complex medical condition was made even more complicated by his emotional state. He needed help.

Nurses at the heart of health plans

Many people may think of their health plan as just the company that pays their medical bills. For many, however, it’s much more than that. It’s the nurse on the phone who helps them understand a diagnosis, learn to control a chronic disease, or manage their recovery from a surgery or illness.

During National Nurses Week, May 6-12, we celebrate Aetna’s 4,700 nurses and nurses everywhere who have dedicated their lives to this profession. In 2015, Aetna nurses handled almost 150,000 case management cases across our commercial business, helping people have truly healthier days. Every day, Aetna nurses help members understand their medical conditions. They also:

  • Plan support for patients leaving the hospital
  • Consult with specialists
  • Make referrals to mental health and other services
  • Help with achieving weight loss

Check out a few more stories of Aetna nurses:

Learn how Janet Boucher touches the lives of 30 or more Aetna members a day, as she answers calls to Aetna’s Informed Health Line.

Hear how Kristin Szetala, R.N., helped a cancer patient through his treatment and into recovery.

Read how Heather Hodder-Hoth worked to get a fragile newborn the coverage she needed.