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Aetna Helps Members Budget For Care With Expansion Of Physician-Specific Cost Information


Now providing detail for eight additional specialties such as optometrists, physical therapists and podiatrists

HARTFORD, Conn.— In these difficult economic times, everyone is looking for ways to stretch their budgets. Now, Aetna (NYSE: AET) is expanding the resources available to help members make better informed decisions about their health, with the addition of cost information for eight additional health care professions: audiologists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, podiatrists, speech pathologists and speech therapists. In addition, Aetna is making physician- and facility-specific cost and quality information available to more members by expanding service areas in states such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

“In these tough economic times, many people may think about ways to reduce their expenses, such as cutting back on vacations or finding ways to be thrifty at the grocery store, but consumers may not consider the ways they can stretch their budgets by maximizing their health benefits,” said Kathy Campbell, Aetna’s head of product development. “At Aetna, we believe it is important for members to continue to access the care they need, and we are committed to helping our members maximize the value of every health care dollar they spend. Now, we can extend that effort by making cost information available on health care professionals such as physical therapists and optometrists - making our suite of cost tools even more useful to members as they are conducting research before visiting a doctor or other health care professional.”

Aetna’s suite of health care transparency tools are available through Aetna Navigator, Aetna’s secure member self-service website and include the following resources, which continue to expand over time:

Physician-specific Price Transparency - Launched in August 2005, this tool is now available in 57 markets and offers access to physician-specific pricing for up to 30 of the most common services and procedures, by specialty, such as routine office visits, strep testing, or X-rays.

Physician-specific Clinical Quality and Efficiency Transparency - Launched in August 2006, this program provides members with physician-specific indicators based on adverse events, 30-day hospital re-admit rates, overall efficiency in use of medical services, and volume of Aetna members treated. Aetna members have access to clinical quality and efficiency information in 36 markets for 12 specialty categories including cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, gastroenterology, general surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, urology and vascular surgery.

Medical Procedure by Facility Cost - Launched in November 2007, this tool is now available in 51 markets and provides members with facility-specific costs for over 30 common medical procedures -- such as maternity care, CT scan and colonoscopy -- from admission through discharge.

Aetna members also have access to quality-of-care information for hospitals nationwide through the Aetna Navigator Hospital Comparison Tool. Members get an easy-to-understand report that helps them compare hospitals and make better decisions about where to access hospital care for themselves and their families. Members can compare hospitals based on the number of patients treated each year, complication rates, mortality rates and average length of stay for over 150 procedures and diagnoses. They can also review other hospital quality information such as results from The Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey.

A demo of the tools available through Aetna Navigator is available to reporters who request it.


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