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Aetna rolls out electronic alert program

by on01 May 2008


To be sent to its member physicians

Aetna Inc.
, one of the largest U.S. health insurance providers, has announced a new program that will send electronic alerts to 320,000 of its physicians who are Aetna members.  The new program is called Care Considerations and Aetna plans to use it to send medical information on about 14 million Aetna patients to their doctors through an Aetna portal.

The portal and alerting technology is offered by NaviMedix Inc. and is known as NaviNet.  It analyzes patient data submitted through claims via an analytic engine developed by Aetna, and compares the data with clinical guidelines recommended for care (such as routine tests) needed to treat certain medical conditions.

Aetna began alerting physicians in the portal several weeks ago. It cited an example of a diabetic patient who has failed to have a recent required eye or foot exam as cause for an alert to be sent through the portal to the patient’s doctor. The portal will also allow physicians to provide instant feedback to the alerts.

Aetna indicated that the program helps physicians have important patient data on hand when they need it and to improve patient safety. It also should improve the accuracy of patient data that physicians have.  Patients often see different physicians for different conditions and have to provide all medical information each time.  Having the physicians on a shared network should provide the same information to each physician, provided they are part of the Aetna network and program.

Some physician providers argue that this is yet another way for the insurance company to mandate the covered care they can offer their patients. The networked portal will cut down on duplicate tests and treatments. And there are privacy considerations to worry about if the network is not sufficiently secure. But paper files can be lost and information misplaced that is in them. It’s a brave new medical world.

Last modified on 01 May 2008
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