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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 10, 2008
Aetna Research Identifies Four Keys To Success For CDHPs

Aetna released the results of a five-year study of healthcare claims and utilization for members of its Aetna HealthFund consumer-directed plans.

The study of 1.6 million Aetna members (205,000 in an Aetna HealthFund plan) identifies the four keys to success that help employers succeed in implementing a consumer-directed benefits strategy. They are:

  • Fostering a culture of healthcare consumerism among all employees, beginning with senior executives;
  • Implementing a focused employee communication and education campaign;
  • Offering wellness programs and incentives for healthy behaviors, as well as 100 percent coverage for preventive care; and
  • Carefully constructing a benefits package that includes appropriate levels of member responsibility

To identify the keys to success, Aetna conducted an in-depth review of six employers who experienced extraordinary results with their Aetna HealthFund plans. In fact, these employers achieved annualized healthcare cost trends that were 50 percent lower than the Aetna HealthFund average, resulting in a combined employer and employee savings of $15 million per 10,000 employees enrolled in an Aetna plan over a four-year period.

Common among these employers was a benefits strategy that embraced the four keys to success.

"Aetna’s keys to consumer-directed success provide a road map for employers who want to control healthcare costs and engage employees in their health by offering a consumer-directed benefits strategy. We have thoroughly studied these members for five years and have developed keen insight into those aspects of the product that work and those that do not work well. This latest research simply validateswhat we’ve suspected all along – that while implementing these plans requires a commitment from both the employer and the employee the payoff is significant for those who embrace all the tools that influence healthcare consumerism," said Aetna President Mark T. Bertolini.

The six employer groups that achieved dramatic success with Aetna HealthFund represent a variety of industries including heavy manufacturing, personal healthcare services, and food and beverage production.

While the six case study employers achieved significant success, Aetna continued to see the positive impact of healthcare consumerism across all 1.6 million Aetna members studied.

Specifically, employers who offered an Aetna HealthFund plan lowered their healthcare trend and saved money through all four years with the plan, across all Aetna products they offered.

And, when compared to a control-matched preferred provider organization population, the Aetna HealthFund members: spend 20 percent more on preventive care; maintain their utilization of drug therapies for chronic conditions, their access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, and their levels of diabetic testing; use generic drugs more frequently; and are twice as likely to explore online information.

In addition, 52 percent of health reimbursement account members and 95 percent of health savings account members carried over some or all of their fund into the next year.

Address: Aetna, 151 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06156; (860) 273-0123,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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