With only about 10 percent of life expectancy influenced by the clinical care a person receives, more work must be done to offer solutions in the local community, Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini said at Fortune Brainstorm Health 2018.
“We’re going to do what we can in the community to help you by understanding the demand in the community and the demand in the home,” Bertolini said of Aetna’s focus on changing health care.
Bertolini was interviewed by Fortune Editor-in-Chief Clifton Leaf during the first day of Fortune Brainstorm Health 2018. He spoke about the issues with the current structure of the health care system and why Aetna was focusing its efforts on addressing the social determinants of health.
In 2016, the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge launched, and 50 finalists are currently working to create healthier communities for residents. The Challenge will award $1.5 million in prizes to cities and counties that show measurable improvements in health outcomes over the course of several years through cross-sector partnerships.
Bertolini also described the “Next Best Action” initiative, which will give the health company the opportunity to identify short-term goals for members to complete and bring them closer to achieving their health goals. People, Bertolini said, don’t think of their health as a disease, but rather something that could be preventing them from living the life they want to lead.
“For each individual, it’s possible for us to look at their current status,” Bertolini said, “and say to them, ‘If you do this thing next, it’s going to move you along the path of what you want to accomplish with your health.’”
Whether it’s taking more daily steps or checking their blood on a regular basis, Aetna can “help people on their own health care journey,” Bertolini said.
Bertolini became the CEO of Aetna in 2010. Since then, he’s been equally focused on looking after the company’s employees. In 2015, Aetna launched its “Social Compact,” which included improved wages, enhanced benefits and innovative wellness programs.
“CEOs have more and more responsibility now – not just to their stakeholders, but to their employees and their communities,” Bertolini said.