Aetna’s Health Care Transparency Initiatives Named Winner In URAC’s Best Practices In Consumer Empowerment And Protection Awards

Aetna receives honorable mention in first-ever nationwide competition recognizing health management programs that empower, protect consumers

WASHINGTON D.C. and HARTFORD, Conn., March 27, 2008 — URAC announced the winners of its inaugural Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards competition March 25, naming Aetna's Health Care Transparency initiatives as an honorable mention in the consumer decision support category. The awards were presented during URAC's Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Conference in Orlando, Fla. During the conference, award finalists presented their programs to attendees so these best practices can be duplicated in communities across the country.

Aetna's health care transparency initiatives encompass three specific resources. These web-based tools, which continue to expand over time, include:

Currently, Aetna members have access to clinical quality and efficiency information for 71,000 specialist physicians in 22 states and the District of Columbia and price information for 320,000 physicians in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

"A Best Practices Award is a strong signal to the marketplace that an organization places a premium on consumer protection and empowerment," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC's president and CEO. "We are excited about this opportunity to recognize these trailblazers and draw attention to programs that are models for the industry."

In all, URAC honored 22 winners for excellence among entries from health care management, health information technology, health plan and pharmacy benefit management organizations. Entries were judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts in three categories: consumer decision support, consumer/patient safety, and integrated care coordination. Programs were selected as winners for their ability to measurably demonstrate an impact on consumer empowerment and/or protection, as well as their potential for wide-spread implementation of the program by other organizations.

"As part of our efforts to help members make better informed decisions about their health care, we have developed an innovative suite of consumer tools and information available through Aetna Navigator, Aetna's secure member self service website," said Robin Downey, Aetna's head of product development. "An integral part of that suite of tools is Aetna's health care transparency initiatives that provide physician and facility-specific information to help members evaluate the overall value and cost of care before they access services."

A complete list of winners of the Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards may be found at www.urac.org.

About URAC
URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com




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