Aetna Recognized For Ease Of Interactions With Physicians

Payerviewsm rankings rate Aetna first among national health plans; faster payments, fewer denials and transparent information underscore company’s commitment to strengthened physician relations

HARTFORD, Conn., May 29, 2008 — Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) continued efforts to simplify business transactions for physicians helped place the company first among national health plans in the 2008 PayerView Rankings. According to the third annual rankings from athenahealth, Inc., an unaffiliated provider of practice management and electronic medical record services to medical groups, Aetna pays physicians faster and denies claims less often than other health plans that were measured. Aetna also earned high scores for the percent of claims that were resolved the first time they were submitted. When a claim is denied for insufficient information, Aetna is one of the best at clearly communicating with physicians to ensure the claim will close with only one resubmission, according to PayerView.

"While we are pleased with this recognition of our progress, we are committed to continually improving the experience physicians have when they do business with Aetna," said Allen Karp, head of Aetna’s Health Care Delivery. "Ongoing communication with doctors and working with companies like athenahealth have been critical to understanding how we can streamline and simplify our business practices for the medical community. Ultimately, we hope that more efficient interactions will enable doctors to spend more time doing what is most important -- providing the best care to our members."

Aetna yesterday announced its Guiding Principles for Physician Relations, which identify specific behaviors and business actions that govern Aetna in its interactions with health care professionals. The Principles represent the company’s continued commitment to building and maintaining strong relationships with the medical community.

The PayerView Rankings are based on athenahealth’s claims data from more than 12,000 medical providers representing more than 30 million medical procedure charges for 2007. The data are used to rank health insurers on measures of financial and administrative performance, and medical policy complexity, such as how many days it takes a health plan to pay the physician from the date the charge is entered in athenahealth’s system. The rankings also include the percentage of claims that require additional work from the physician.

"Aetna is a great example of a leading national payer that understands the need to address their business dealings with providers in order to improve the quality of care while eliminating unnecessary costs found in administrating health care today," said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth.

The essentials: Simplicity, quality service and information, transparency
Aetna has simplified business transactions by optimizing electronic transactions to reduce claim denials and streamline administrative tasks. Continued enhancements to service and to the quality and timeliness of information provided to physicians have been priorities as well. The company’s Provider Service Centers are staffed with service professionals dedicated to addressing the unique business needs of physicians and their staffs. Most recently, Aetna began delivering Care Considerations electronically, and later this summer Aetna members will be able to share a summary of their Aetna Personal Health Records electronically with their physicians.

Aetna’s secure provider website, via NaviNet®, gives physicians and their staffs more information online than ever before. Physicians can check eligibility and benefits in real time, submit or inquire about claims, review claim payment policies, view and print explanation of payments online within 24 hours of claims processing, obtain electronic remittance advices, and access Aetna’s education website.

The complete 2008 PayerView Rankings, evaluating 137 national, regional and government payers, can be found at

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 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.

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