Aetna To Expand Footprint In Dubai: Appointed By The Dubai Health Authority To Provide Health Management Programs And Services

Aetna to provide administrative, financial and other value-added services to outpatient care practices

HARTFORD, Conn., December 11, 2008 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today that it has been appointed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) as one of the health care management companies (HMCs) to provide health management programs and services to outpatient care practices (OCPs), also known as primary health care practices, in Dubai. These outpatient clinics, responsible for managing and directing the care of the local population, are a central part of a new government-sponsored, capitation-based health care system aimed at promoting access to high-quality, affordable, basic health care to Dubai residents. Implementation of the new system will begin in January 2009.  

The Government of Dubai currently offers select health programs to its 1.5 million residents, more than a million of which are expatriates working a wide range of jobs. Under the new system, residents must register with an OCP to access and receive basic health services. It is estimated that roughly 300 to 500 clinics will join the system in 2009.

Aetna is one of only two HMCs appointed to assist OCPs in leveraging the opportunities the new system provides. Aetna, in partnership with Gateway Healthcare, will provide administrative, financial and other value-added services, including the management and flow of funds to OCPs, negotiation of arrangements with hospitals and specialist clinics and development of care and disease management programs for use in the clinical setting. This will allow OCPs to continue their primary focus on patient care.

"We are extremely pleased to have been appointed to this position by the Dubai Health Authority," said Ronald A. Williams, Aetna chairman and CEO. "We have a range of skills that can support the government's goal of strengthening health care delivery in Dubai."

Aetna's proven experience in managing health care quality and cost to a budget, through effective contracting and procurement techniques, was a key component of the company's successful bid. Aetna's international division, Aetna Global Benefits® (AGB), coordinated the overall effort and will build the organization by leveraging its existing infrastructure in Dubai.

According to Martha Temple, president of Aetna Global Benefits, "Our goal is to help create a primary care-focused health care system in Dubai dedicated to providing comprehensive individual-centered care. We will work consultatively and collaboratively with the independent outpatient care practices, Dubai Health Authority and other stakeholders to develop an appropriate and targeted plan that will meet the needs of the people of Dubai."

AGB currently provides comprehensive health benefits coverage for close to 400,000 expatriates, third-country nationals and key local nationals in over 100 countries, including the United Arab Emirates. In 2007, AGB acquired Goodhealth Worldwide, a leading provider of international private medical insurance for expatriates and high-net-worth individuals. Goodhealth Worldwide, through its partnership with a locally licensed insurance company, Royal & SunAlliance, currently provides private health benefits coverage in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, AGB remains committed to providing advisory and support services to Primary Care Trusts and other health authorities in the United Kingdom. Similar to its efforts in Dubai, AGB can assist these organizations in improving patient outcomes and reducing overall costs through various services that include data management and decision support, and care and resource utilization management.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the leading diversified health care benefits companies in the United States, serving approximately 37.2 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 and government-sponsored plans in the U.S. and internationally.

Copyright Aetna Inc.