8th September 2011 IPMI Magazine Private Medical and Health Insurance News. More than a million Aetna (NYSE: AET) members are finding that Aetna’s Personal Health Record (PHR) can help make coordinating and participating in their own health care more effective. More than that, members are finding new personalized health action plans can help turn Aetna’s PHR into a gateway to better health. Based on an Aetna survey, Aetna members who use their PHRs are following up on recommended care, such as getting needed blood tests or starting fitness programs, 68 percent more often than members who do not have a PHR.
One likely reason for the higher engagement is that Aetna’s PHR users can and do receive more care alerts -- such as reminders for needed tests or even notices of possible harmful drug interactions -- compared to non-PHR users with similar health conditions, demographics and access to online tools. And members can take advantage of personalized health action plans in their PHRs to help control diabetes, lose weight, lower cholesterol, quit smoking or reach a number of other health goals.
The care alerts and personalized health action plans, created by the patented CareEngine®* technology, are made possible and tailored to members’ health needs based on the information in their PHRs. The information is collected from claims across the health care system, such as physician offices, labs, diagnostic treatments and pharmacies. In addition, members can provide information directly in their PHRs by completing online health assessments, adding family health history and updating over-the-counter medications they may be taking.
“We’ve turned the PHR into a simple, powerful and interactive tool that members can use every day to track and improve their health,” said Susan Kosman, R.N., Aetna chief nursing officer. “Our approach is working. Currently, Aetna has a 30 percent PHR adoption rate compared to national estimates of single-digit adoption rates among many other health plans.” (Adoption rates reflect PHRs visited at least once by member plan subscribers. PHRs created for a subscriber’s family members or other dependents are not counted in the adoption rate.)
Easily tracked activities in the health action plan help members monitor their progress. Additionally, the feature allows health benefits plans to include incentives for members who complete and maintain recommended activities based on their individual health needs. Members also can share the health action plans, as well as other information from their PHRs, with their doctors electronically or in hard copy. The information can help doctors make more informed decisions about members’ health care. *The CareEngine is a proprietary technology platform developed by ActiveHealth Management, an Aetna company. IPMI Magazine Private Medical and Health Insurance News
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