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Aetna and Banner Health form partnership to improve care, reduce costs

Oct 31 2016

Streamlined, convenient and connected. This is the experience Aetna and Banner Health say employers and people in Arizona’s Maricopa and Pinal counties can expect through a new partnership.

The collaboration is designed to create a better customer experience, lower costs for employers and members, and improve patient outcomes.

“We are committed to finding new ways to deliver more efficient and effective care for our members and customers in Arizona and across the country,” said Gary Loveman, Aetna’s executive vice president and president of Consumer Health and Services. “Together, Aetna and Banner are rethinking, reimagining and redefining health care to create better patient outcomes and healthier days for our customers.”

The partnership, announced on Oct. 31, 2016, will bring together Banner’s facilities and providers with Aetna’s health plan expertise, cutting-edge analytics, and health information technology and shared care management capabilities. Banner is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the U.S.

Coverage is effective January 2017. Plans to expand statewide are planned in the future.

The joint venture aims to build upon the success of the Aetna-Banner accountable care organization (ACO), “Aetna Whole Health — Banner Health Network.” ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and other health professionals that work together to provide coordinated care to patients, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Aetna-Banner ACO began in 2012 and provides more than 48,000 members in Phoenix with high-quality care at a lower cost.

Building upon the success of Aetna Whole Health — Banner Health Network

The ACO has resulted in significant patient care improvements and cost reductions, including a 24 percent decrease in surgery admissions; a 4 percent increase in generic prescribing; an 11.5 percent overall reduction in medical costs (vs. expected costs for the market); and more than $2.6 million in fully insured savings in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, the ACO resulted in a shared savings of more than $9.9 million for the Banner Health Network fully-insured commercial membership.

Sharing resources to build on success

The new partnership will help members find and receive the care they need through streamlined customer service.  Members will have one place to access both insurance and health care information to complete various tasks, such as track deductibles, HSA spending, claim histories and refill prescriptions, search for doctors, schedule appointments or pay bills online. Members also will have access to customized health care services and support to help them receive the right care, at the right time and at the right place.

Providing patients with hassle-free services and support to help them receive the right care, at the right time and at the right place

Residents in the Phoenix area also will have access to the Banner Health Network, which includes over 900 primary care physicians, more than 5,800 specialists, over 125 urgent care centers, 14 hospitals, nine health centers and 11 emergency centers.

“When payers and providers come together in this kind of genuine collaboration—with a joint approach to serving members and advancing population health—then we have a rare opportunity to reinvent what health care will look like tomorrow,” said Peter S. Fine, president and CEO of Banner.

Coverage for people and employers in the Phoenix area will be available this fall and effective in January 2017. There are plans to expand statewide in the future.