Historically, the relationship between some providers and payors has been strained, to put it lightly. And while insurers and provider groups have increasingly been working more closely together through accountable care organizations, Aetna recently took a major step toward a much more integrated relationship with a major health system in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
On June 22, Aetna and Inova Health System — the latter based in Northern Virginia — announced a partnership establishing Innovation Health Plans, which will be jointly owned by the insurer and the nonprofit. The new entity will offer commercial and Medicare Advantage plans in Northern Virginia. I spoke with Tom Grote, president of Aetna’s Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., markets, and he told me he believes that the arrangement is the first of its kind.
Grote also maintained that because of the savings the health plan is expected to bring through greater care coordination, premiums for the products will be less expensive compared with those of traditional Aetna plans it offers in the region.
With the need to control medical spending as strong as ever, do you think other insurers will follow in Aetna’s footsteps?