U.S. health insurer
) has agreed to form an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) with
Bon Secours Health System. This is in sync with the company's
effort to improve safety and quality of patient care and make
health care more affordable.
An ACO is a collaboration of health care providers, who
voluntarily form alliances to provide coordinated high quality
care to patients. An ACO is accountable for the quality, cost and
overall care offered to members. By focusing on the needs of
patients and linking payments to outcomes, the model is intended
to improve the health of individuals and communities and curb
rising health care costs.
Aetna will provide its technology and services via its
Healthagen unit. The combined capabilities of both the companies
will help to coordinate all aspects of health care of Medicare
beneficiaries.The computer based records will enable two way
exchange of health information across a patient's entire care
team and equip physicians with the patient's medical history.
The program will serve 57,000 fee-for-service Medicare
beneficiaries in Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and New
Via this ACO Aetna aims to provide a more synchronized,
personalized experience for patients; lower co-pays and improve
ACOs or collaborative accountable care is one of the several
ways by which President Obama wants to improve the quality of
health of all Americans. It is viewed as a tool that would
deliver seamless, high quality care for the overall
The Health Care Reform called for such an arrangement in order
to trim unnecessary expenses due to a lack of coordination
between multiple physicians and other providers. Most Americans
with multiple chronic conditions receive care from multiple
physicians and it has been observed that a few of them receive
A large percentage of the sick population also ended up being
victims of medical errors and faced hospital readmissions within
days of their discharge. Thus, ACOs were formed to reduce the
exorbitant amounts spent due to lack of managed care.
Other health insurers like
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
) are also aggressively forming ACOs. Going forward, we expect
such patient-centered collaborations to grow rapidly.
Aetna currently retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another
health care provider under our coverage,
Molina Healthcare, Inc.
), is also similarly placed with a Zacks Rank #1.
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