"Aetna is exploring new ways to work with healthcare providers, and we've found that these discussions are positively received as we collectively seek to improve the healthcare system," said Thomas Grote, president of Aetna's Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., markets. "Our arrangement with Carilion will provide a foundation to grow these new models of care."
Murphy says Carilion physicians and facilities will continue to participate in existing health plan provider networks and will accept members from Aetna and other private plans.
He says the relationship with Aetna should not hinder business with other health plans. "Certainly we will continue to contract with other insurance companies, and we need to, but our relationship with Aetna will allow us to provider broader array of services at lower costs," he says.
He says the collaborative won't stifle access for other insurers. "This was not an exclusive contract. We talked with other insurers about doing this but we got to the finish line with Aetna," he says. "It's another layer of competition that brings new products to the market that are in everybody's interest."
"If we were to tell all the other insurance companies that now we only deal exclusively with our own insurance product and that we would not be willing to continue having a contract with United or BlueCross that might be a different story," he says. "But we are not going to allow these contracts to get between us and our patients. Patient choice prevails and we are here to take care of our patients.