Patient Health Improving from Collaboration between Aetna and WESTMED

Proving that patients benefit when physicians and health plans share resources and work together, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the WESTMED Medical Group today announced results of the first year of their patient-centered medical home program. Based on the excellent results, the Aetna – WESTMED relationship will be expanded to include a Medicare Collaborative Care Agreement as well.

A medical home is a team of doctors and clinicians within a medical practice who work together to provide continuous and comprehensive health care for patients. By providing ongoing attention to each patient, rather than episode-based treatment, doctors in a medical home can provide more efficient and more effective care. Health plans support the practice with relevant patient care data, analysis and quality measurement along with financial rewards for improved care quality.

The results of the first year of the medical home agreement showed that WESTMED physicians reduced hospital admissions among their patients by more than 35 percent. In addition, WESTMED physicians met or exceeded 9 of 10 targeted goals on cancer screenings, diabetes management and screening, and heart disease management and screening.

The results, reflecting care provided to 5,650 Aetna members, also showed a reduction in patient visits to the emergency department, a reduction in hospital readmissions, and an increase in the use of generic instead of more costly brand name alternatives.

“We are very pleased with the results of our medical home program with WESTMED, which is having an obvious positive impact on our members, and we look forward to expanding our relationship with WESTMED to include a Medicare Collaboration for the benefit of even more of our members who seek care with WESTMED physicians,” said Dave Kobus, Aetna senior vice president, New York Network.

Dr. Simeon Schwartz, president of WESTMED Medical Group said, “Doctors often talk about quality, but don’t measure it. One of the key characteristics of the medical home is that it brings rigorous measurement and quality analysis to prove that the best care is being provided, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and medical errors.”

Dr. Barney Newman, WESTMED’s medical director, commented, “Further, a central concept to the whole medical home program is to really re-establish and enhance the role of the patient’s primary care physician as the central coordinator of care, repository of information and the life-long medical partner who delivers compassionate, continuous and coordinated care to the patient.”

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