2010 Diversity Annual Report
Engaged: Aetna works with American Indian tribe to respond to unique health needs
In recent years, Aetna has been collaborating with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians Tribal Government to meet the health and benefit needs of its enterprises, which include a major resort and casino. In addition to employing Pechanga tribal citizens, the resort and casino workforce includes individuals from many different ethnic backgrounds – many of whom grapple with chronic disease.
Aetna helped the customer to run health fairs at which Aetna-contracted medical groups came onsite to perform screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels and bone density
In fall of 2009, Aetna organized an onsite diabetic retinal exam (DRE) event to attract members who had not received their exams within recommended time frames. Such testing is especially important in light of high rates of diabetes among American Indians and other racial and ethnic minorities; in fact, American Indians are twice as likely to have diabetes than their Caucasian counterparts. More than 60 exams were performed.
Recognizing that these employees – and, importantly, the Pechanga tribal citizens – would benefit from Aetna’s wellness programs, Aetna partnered with the Pechanga Human Resources Benefits Department and its Occupational Health Department to launch a comprehensive wellness program. For example, Aetna helped the customer to run health fairs at which Aetna-contracted medical groups came onsite to perform screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels and bone density.
Aetna also focused its quarterly meetings with tribal government and tribal enterprise leaders to illuminate medical utilization trends, which showed the disease burden of its employees and how this burden could be improved if members more regularly used certain highly effective prescription medications. Based on Aetna’s analysis, the resort and casino changed its drug benefits program to include a zero-dollar member copayment for generic anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic medications, which has already resulted in a 5 percent increase in use of these generics.
Aetna is proud to be meeting the needs of tribal governments and their associated enterprises. While working with tribes is unique in light of their sovereign status, it is also uniquely rewarding for Aetna.