Message to Shareholders from Chairman, CEO and President Mark Bertolini
Last year, Aetna built a sound foundation for the evolving health care industry. Starting with our expertise in health benefits solutions and health information technology, we added new relationships, new technology solutions, and new capabilities to chart a path that we believe will lead to better health care systems in the United States and around the globe.
In the U.S., we fundamentally believe the American health care system needs reform. Much of the public and political dialogue has been focused on access to care. However, achieving reform that fully addresses access, cost and quality will be a journey that extends well beyond any one piece of legislation. We believe the most fundamental flaw to be addressed is that our current system pays health care providers according to activity, rather than the quality or result of care delivered. This payment model drives health care costs higher than necessary, without providing any clear advantage in terms of quality. As such, quality and affordability are at the top of our list of reform goals.
We believe Accountable Care Organizations, where health care providers are incented to help people get and stay healthy, are the future of the provider and health plan relationship. In 2011, we built our own Accountable Care Solutions business to bring the full power of our investments in technology and our intellectual property to the task of working with health care providers to form and maintain market-leading Accountable Care Organizations. With each Accountable Care Organization, we move further down the path toward changing the way health care is delivered, and improving quality and affordability of care.
The solutions we are developing to improve the quality and affordability of health care in the U.S. will be valuable in the global marketplace. Nations around the world are looking for more efficient ways to provide care and to do so with tighter budgets. As a global neighbor and industry leader, we are active in formulating public policies that will influence economies and health care systems in ways that can benefit generations to come.
Making quality health care more affordable, accessible and easy to use for people around the globe is a worthy and attainable cause. We believe the health information technologies we are developing will help nations, physicians, and consumers use the health care system in smarter and simpler ways that will improve choice and affordability. In return, our customers gain greater value for their health care dollar and access to higher quality care.
I am confident that the opportunities ahead of us will create greater value for our stakeholders, relevant solutions for our customers, and a chance for our employees to help make the world a healthier place.
Chairman, CEO and President