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Provider education and manuals

Tools and materials for professional development and easy administration.

Provider manuals about our policies and programs

Provider manuals about our policies and programs

You can view and download these manuals:

  • Office Manual for Health Care Professionals
  • Behavioral Health Provider Manual
  • EAP Manual
  • Women’s Health Programs and Policies Manual
  • Aetna Benefits Product Guide

Educational webinars

Educational webinars

We offer live webinars to make it easier to do business with us. Most webinars are open to all providers, regardless of your participation status.

Committed to cultural competency

Committed to cultural competency

Good health — and a good doctor/patient relationship — begins with understanding your patients' cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs. Watch this presentation to learn more about cultural competence and the important role you play as a provider. 

Welcome to Aetna’s Cultural Competency Training


At the end of this presentation, you will be able to

  • Define cultural competence
  • Explain members’ rights in the health care environment
  • Explain your responsibility in providing culturally competent care
  • Explain Aetna’s commitment to cultural competence, and
  • Identify current Aetna programs that promote cultural competence as well as racial and ethnic equality

Good health begins with a good doctor/patient relationship and members knowing their rights. Among them is being treated with:

  • Dignity
  • Respect, and
  • Fairness

Keep in mind, federal and state laws prohibit unlawful discrimination in the treatment of patients based on:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Mental or physical disability and
  • Socio-economic status - just to name a few

As a health care professional, you can demonstrate your cultural competence by identifying and understanding the cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs and preferences of your patients and their families, and by embracing the principles of equal access and nondiscriminatory practices in your service delivery.


As an Aetna provider, you are also responsible for:

  • Recognizing your personal views about others and how they impact your professional interactions
  • Respecting the cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs of your patients and
  • Incorporating your patients’ language, race, ethnic and cultural preferences in your service delivery strategies

Cultural factors that impact the doctor/patient relationship and patients’ health care decisions are broad and extremely varied. Common factors may include:

  • Age
  • Socio-economic status
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Values, and
  • Sexual orientation

But there are also other factors like

  • Concepts about modesty
  • Concepts of justice
  • Concepts of cleanliness
  • Interpretations of body language
  • Gender identity, and
  • Personal space preferences - just to name a few that also play a role in the patient’s overall health care experience.

It is important that you remain mindful of these factors as you develop your service delivery strategies.


In order to maintain our NCQA accreditation, we are required to show how our provider network meets the cultural needs and preferences of our membership.

To demonstrate our commitment to meeting these standards and to monitor, track, and improve upon our members’ experiences, we conduct an annual member outreach campaign using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems. Members are asked to provide feedback about their satisfaction with their access to care as well as their in-network providers’ ability to meet their cultural needs and preferences


In addition, we also fax an annual Physician Satisfaction Survey to ensure we are adequately providing you with tools and resources to meet your patients’ cultural needs. Your feedback is vitally important to us, so upon receipt we ask that you complete the survey and return it to us by the requested due date.


To further demonstrate our commitment to supporting our members’ cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs, we also provide members with:

  • Access to translation and interpretation services
  • Access to TTY and TDD services for the hearing impaired, and
  • The option to search for prospective providers using specific criteria such as the language(s) spoken by the provider

We also provide our internal health care professional staff with ongoing cultural competency training to deepen their understanding of the social determinants of health and other disparities among racial and ethnic groups.


As part of our commitment to creating a health care environment that supports our members cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs, Aetna has created several programs to align this organizational strategy. Let’s review a few.


The first is our Aetna Enhanced Maternity Program, which provides education and culturally competent outreach to at-risk mothers in communities with known health care disparities such as chronic underlying health conditions to help decrease the risk of premature delivery and other complications associated with the social determinants of health in these communities.


One element of this program focuses on African-American women, and results have shown that moms enrolled in the program were more likely to have full-term babies than moms not enrolled in the program.


Next, we have the Care Considerations℠ Program.


Through this program, clinical alerts are sent to physicians and members based on highly respected sources of evidence-based medicine that identify potential gaps in care, medical errors and quality issues.


Examples of Care Consideration alerts for racial and ethnic minorities include:

  • Clinical reminders for sickle cell disease in African Americans
  • Medication therapy reminders for chronic heart failure in African Americans, and
  • Screening reminders for Asian patients with hepatitis B who have a high risk for liver cancer

And last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget the Aetna Compassionate Care℠ Program, which offers service and support at no additional cost to members who are facing trying times such as serious illness. The program enlists our amazing nurse case managers, who provide patients and their families with expanded culturally sensitive resources to help them make tough health care decisions, including advanced care planning.


Thank you for taking the time to learn about cultural competence and how a thoughtful service delivery strategy that acknowledges your patients’ cultural, ethnic, racial and linguistic needs and preferences can help improve their health care experience. As we close out the course, we invite you to take a moment to view this short video entitled 'Cultural Awareness for Health Care Professionals' to hear directly from patients about the importance of cultural competence in the health care environment. You may access the link for the video at the top of the page. Once the video ends, you may close the page and exit the course.

Better communication, better patient care

Better communication, better patient care

Communication among health care professionals can lead to better outcomes for patients, and you might have questions about how to discuss sensitive topics.

Aetna Smart Compare program

The Aetna Smart Compare designation helps give our members more information to help them choose a practice for themselves and their families. For complete program information including overview guides and frequently asked questions, visit the Aetna Smart Compare page.

Legal notices

Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).

Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.

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