HLM: Do electronic health records play a role?
Conicella: The EHR is available to the providers of services, to physicians and dentists. Where it can play a role is when a physician enters information about a patient into the EHR, and if the [patient's] dentist would also have access to that record, that would be another way to know more about the total health of their patient.
I see an advantage of having access to an EHR if you are a clinician, just to be able to have that bigger picture of your patient, rather than just the information that the patient might fill out on their dental health history form, for example.
We also have a health risk assessment that our members complete. It includes questions about their dental care and their dental health, so that's another way we can use data to get a picture of our members' total health.
HLM: Is DMI part of your ACO strategy?
Conicella: We would very much like to include dentists and dental services in our ACOs in the future. Aetna's ACO team is working with our dental group. Our ultimate goal is to find a way to use the ACO strategy to loop in dentists so all of the providers of care for a particular patient have an opportunity to coordinate with one another.