Nine members will provide advice on issues important to physicians
Aetna’s goal is better relations with doctors, greater transparency
HARTFORD, Conn., December 15, 2003 — Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) today announced the nine members of its new Physician Advisory Committee. The goal of the nine-member group is to provide advice on issues of importance to doctors and make recommendations as appropriate with regard to Aetna’s business practices. Current plans call for the committee to meet at least twice during 2004.
"Aetna’s goal is to enhance our relationship with doctors by creating a productive dialogue and increasing transparency with regard to our business practices. This distinguished group of practicing physicians will meet regularly, and will have an opportunity to review and comment on the way in which we interact with the physician community. We look forward to our collaboration," said John W. Rowe, M.D., Aetna chairman and CEO.
Members of the committee include:
William F. Gee, M.D., a practicing urologist and chairman of health policy for the American Urological Association since 2001. Dr. Gee is a past president of the American Association of Clinical Urologists (1998-1999), past president of the Kentucky Urological Society (1998) and past president of the Fayette County (Kentucky) Medical Society (1989).
Stanley Goldfarb, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor of Medicine and associate dean for Clinical Education, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a practicing physician. With specialty certifications in internal medicine and nephrology, Dr. Goldfarb has had numerous administrative, academic and hospital appointments; and is a past chairman of the Council of Subspecialty Societies of the American College of Physicians (1992-1995).
H. Robert Harrison, D.Phil., M.D., M.P.H., a practicing pediatrician, epidemiologist and pediatric infectious diseases consultant from Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Harrison is a member of the Georgia Medical Association; and serves as a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Epidemiologic Society.
Scott D. Hayworth, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., president and CEO of Mount Kisco (New York) Medical Group, P.C. Dr. Hayworth is a Fellow of, and an active member in, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as a past president of the Westchester County (New York) Obstetrical and Gynecological Society.
Russell C. Libby, M.D., F.A.A.P., is a board-certified pediatrician. He is founder and president of the Virginia Pediatric Group, Ltd. and Chief of General Medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children. Dr. Libby is a former president of the Medical Society of Northern Virginia, and is actively involved with the Medical Society of Virginia and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Home Care Physicians.
J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D., F.A.C.P., deputy chief medical officer (acting), Cancer Control Science Department of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Lichtenfeld is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, and is an active member in a number of professional societies, including the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association.
Robert Wright Oblath, M.D., a board-certified vascular surgeon. Dr. Oblath is an active member of the American College of Surgeons, where he serves as a member of the Health Policy Steering Committee and the Society of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Oblath also is a former delegate to the American Medical Association for vascular surgery.
William C. Popik, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer of Aetna. Dr. Popik has three decades of experience as a practicing physician and senior health care executive. Among other professional interests, Dr. Popik is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Juan A. Reyna, M.D., president of Urology San Antonio, P.A., as well as Southwest Urologic Management. Dr. Reyna is a board-certified urologist and has served since 1981 as clinical assistant professor, Division of Urology, at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is the current president of the Texas Urological Society.
"My goal as chairman of the Advisory Committee is to focus on continuously improving the way in which Aetna impacts a physician’s practice and interaction with patients on a day-to-day basis", said William C. Popik, M.D., Aetna’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. "Aetna has made important progress in recent months by implementing a number of new initiatives aimed at increasing transparency, such as being the first health insurer to offer doctors a new web-based tool to understand billing codes and how they will be handled by our claims-processing system. The creation of this committee is just one in a series of steps, as Aetna evolves in the way in which we work with physicians."
The establishment of a national advisory committee of practicing physicians is one initiative contained in an agreement between Aetna and representatives of nearly 1 million physicians that settled a national class-action lawsuit. The agreement includes a series of industry-leading improvements to physician-related business practices and sets new levels of transparency in paying claims.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, serving approximately 13.0 million medical members, 11.0 million dental members, 7.4 million pharmacy members and 12.1 million group insurance customers, as of September 30, 2003. The company has expansive nationwide networks of more than 590,000 health care services providers, including more than 355,000 primary care and specialist physicians and 3,577 hospitals. For more information about Aetna, please visit the company’s web site at www.aetna.com.