Integrating Absence Management Programs Helps Reduce Costs and Improve Productivity

Nov 01 2011
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Aetna analysis shows that employers may be able to reduce claim costs $1,074 per claim and get employees back to work 4.72 days sooner

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A recent analysis conducted by Aetna (NYSE: AET) shows that an integrated approach to managing leave and disability claims helps employees return to work faster and helps reduce absence-related productivity costs. Aetna’s Integrated Absence Management Model handles Short Term Disability (STD), Long Term Disability (LTD), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Leave of Absence (LOA) claims under one umbrella.

“By integrating our absence management programs we can more effectively identify employees for clinical evaluation, helping to address their health needs earlier so they may return to work faster,” said Dan Fishbein, head of Group Insurance, Dental and Vision. “No matter what the reason for an employee taking a leave of absence, Aetna works directly with the member to discuss his or her treatment plan and help get them connected to the support they may need. We also work side-by-side with the employer to address accommodations that may help when the employee does return back to work.”

Aetna’s 2010 analysis illustrates that when an integrated leave program is used, employers may reduce average claim costs about $1,074 per claim and get employees back to work an average of about 4.72 days sooner. The analysis was based on 2010 data comparing Aetna customers with integrated absence management to those without integrated absence management. The results of the analysis represent the experience of multiple employers, individual employer results will vary.

Aetna’s absence model capitalizes on the following features to help improve the member’s experience:

  • Single point of contact to help members and employers through the administrative aspects of claims
  • Comprehensive clinical models and return to work strategies
  • Holistic management with compliance and insurance guidelines
  • Integrated communications to all affected parties, including status changes
  • A team of dedicated doctors, registered nurses and rehabilitation specialists provide personalized case management

Integrating disability and leave of absence claims through one channel helps members focus on what’s important – getting better and preventing lost wages.

To help simplify the management process for employers, Aetna’s core model includes a variety of plan design options, service features and system capabilities. Additional services consist of customized claims intake, case management and reporting, along with modified communications and correspondence to employees.

Aetna’s flexible and easy-to-use disability and absence management services focus on:

  • An effective clinical approach that drives earlier outreach and intervention
  • Achieving better health outcomes which may ultimately increase productivity
  • Streamlined and consistent claims decisions and payments
  • Easy claim intake via telephone, fax or e-mail

Aetna also offers both employers and employees 24-hour access to WorkAbility®, an industry-leading claim and absence management system. This on-demand, self service tool makes it easy for employees to request and update their time off from work. The system also includes tracking and reporting tools to help employers promote higher productivity and better manage staffing and work processes.

“Our Plan Sponsors appreciate our active use of claim notification because it enhances their awareness of employee absenteeism, limits efficiency concerns and helps them manage operational expenses,” said Catherine Liston, head of Disability Benefits Management for Aetna. “Our integrated model also encourages program compliance to reduce unreported and underreported claims from the first date of absence, which may lead to shorter claim durations.”

Aetna provides a core offering of quality disability insurance products and services that can be offered stand-alone, or in any combination. Visit for more information.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see



Matt Wiggin, 860-273-4857

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