Carilion Clinic will continue to offer Medicare Advantage products and will buy administrative services through Hartford, CT-based Aetna to lower administrative costs. Aetna will become the administrator of Carilion's health benefits plan for its employees.
"Carilion Clinic would be the ACO, but the ACO needs a contracting vehicle and an insurance payment vehicle and that would be Aetna," Murphy says. "You will see co-branded insurance products with Aetna so we can bring insurance product to commercial market here that would carry Aetna's name and Carilion's name."
Murphy says Aetna would likely "begin taking over the back room management" for Medicare Advantage next month, and begin an open enrollment on July 1 for Carilion's 17,000 or so employees and dependents. Phase in for the commercial market and Medicaid are targeted for completion by the end of the year.
Charles Saunders, MD, president of Strategic Diversification at Aetna, said in a statement that the "collaboration is designed to bring new models of healthcare delivery, advanced technology and payment reform to the market that creates improvements in both quality and affordability of care. By bringing the best capabilities of each organization and aligning incentives across all stakeholders, we can create real value."
ACOs are a high priority for healthcare leaders. Seventy-four percent of hospital chief executives surveyed for the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2011said they either already have the components in place to be considered an accountable care organization or that they will within the next five years.
Carilion's ACO features an integrated electronic medical record to support information sharing and a network of primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals and outpatient facilities.Aetna members using Carilion can access Aetna's online resources including pricing and quality, and wellness tools