Aetna CareEngine-Powered Personal Health Record Enhanced To Better Engage Members In Managing Their Health
HARTFORD, Conn.— Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced enhancements to its CareEngine®-powered Personal Health Record (PHR) to enable members to make their PHRs available to health care providers online, and to help individuals better monitor their health status with the addition of Health Trackers - making the resource more useful to the more than six million people who currently have access to the PHR. These enhancements are based on feedback from a successful PHR pilot program conducted in 2007 with more than 750,000 members and 15 large employers, including The Dow Chemical Company and Costco.
“Dow Chemical offers health benefits to approximately 110,000 Americans nationwide, so it’s very important that our investment in health delivers significant value to our employees,” said Dr. Cathy Baase, director of health services for The Dow Chemical Company. “The opportunity to be part of the PHR pilot provided excellent insights into the creative ways we can engage our employees by providing them with innovative tools to track their health information, become aware of possible health complications, and engage in a better-informed dialogue with their physicians.”
Aetna’s PHR takes a wide variety of health information gathered from across the health care spectrum - such as physician offices, labs, diagnostic treatment and pharmacies - with user-entered information such as family history or allergies and houses it in a secure, online location. In addition, it uses the patented CareEngine technology to identify and alert members to potential gaps in care, helping them achieve their optimal health. The information in the PHR is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, anywhere an Internet connection is available. Aetna’s PHR is also integrated with other wellness resources offered by Aetna, including Aetna’s online wellness program, Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and Aetna Health Connections Disease Management programs.
“As an employer, Costco is committed to taking care of our employees and part of that commitment includes delivering the right programs to support their needs,” said Jay Tihinen, AVP of benefits & retirement plans for Costco. “We chose to offer the PHR because we believe it can be a valuable tool to help our employees easily access their health information and better manage their medical conditions, which should ultimately improve their overall health, improve productivity and lower medical costs.”
During the pilot program, Aetna found that members with an ongoing health condition were twice as likely to use their PHR. As a result, Aetna focused enhancements for 2008 on enabling members to make their PHRs available online to their treating physicians, through Aetna’s secure provider website via NaviNet®, as a way to more easily share comprehensive health data that fits into physicians’ existing tools and workflow. Aetna also enhanced the PHR with Health Trackers to help members better monitor actual data on individual health status as well as a graph and a table to show trends over time, so they can more effectively monitor their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and more.
“By integrating tools and information with member focused wellness programs we can help our members become more engaged consumers of health care,” said Aetna President Mark T. Bertolini. “As we evaluated ways we could enhance the Aetna PHR, it became clear that our members were looking for new features to help them partner with their doctors and deal with ongoing medical conditions. We feel that these enhancements will support our members in maintaining or improving their health.”
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