Aetna and St. John Health System's Accountable Care Organization Join Forces to Reduce Costs, Enhance Care

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Members benefit from an improved patient experience

TULSA, Okla. – Aetna (NYSE: AET) and St. John Health System, a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, today announced a collaboration to launch Aetna Whole Health St. John OKHI in Tulsa County. This new health care product enables doctors to deliver highly coordinated care, track outcomes through shared data, and measure clinical standards to improve quality and efficiency.

"We are working with providers to build sustainable models of health care that deliver better outcomes and lower overall costs," said Jason Keibler, Head of Aetna's Oklahoma network. "Together with St. John Health System, we will be moving away from a focus on quantity of services to one that offers quality care at a more affordable price. The outcome can be a better patient experience, a healthier community and improved access to the right care at the right place and time."

As part of Aetna Whole Health St. John OKHI, Aetna members will receive coordinated care through Tulsa-area St. John hospitals and more than 500 primary care physicians and specialists that are part of the St. John accountable care organization, Oklahoma Health Initiatives (OKHI).

"We are pleased with Aetna's decision to join with St. John in our longstanding commitment to reduce medical costs for Oklahomans through effective coordination of health care and improved quality outcomes," said David Pynn, chief executive officer of St. John Health System. "We have a unique opportunity to expand health care coverage and improve access in Tulsa through aligning the goals of St. John, our participating physicians and Aetna to transform health care right here in our own backyard."

Aetna Whole Health St. John OKHI will be available to self-insured and fully insured businesses effective July 1, 2016, and to small businesses from October 1, 2016.

Aetna Whole Health St. John OKHI members will see:

  • Coordinated, team-based care among doctors and other care providers;
  • Enhanced patient experience through high-quality care management programs and technology that delivers information to all providers;
  • Lower overall out-of-pocket costs for members who see providers that are part of Aetna Whole Health St. John OKHI; and
  • Better health care outcomes.

New payment agreement to reward improvements in quality and cost of care

The agreement rewards achievement of quality and efficiency measures, including:

  • The percentage of Aetna members who receive recommended preventive care and screenings;
  • Better management of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart failure; and
  • Decreasing avoidable emergency room visits and hospital readmissions through the proactive management by care teams.

St. John's accountable care organization (ACO), named Oklahoma Health Initiatives (OKHI), launched in January 2014 as Oklahoma's first ACO and is a collective of both St. John and affiliate providers. OKHI works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to maintain and follow a plan that meets the required operational elements of establishing, reporting and ensuring compliance with health care quality criteria to better serve Medicare beneficiaries and other populations attributed to ACO providers.

Aetna works with health care organizations nationwide to develop products and services that support value-driven, patient-centered care for health care consumers. Nationally today, about 6.2 million Aetna members receive care from doctors committed to the value-based approach, with about 40 percent of Aetna claims payments going to doctors and providers who practice value-based care. Aetna has committed to increasing that number to 75 percent by 2020.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46.5 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see

About Oklahoma Health Initiatives ("OKHI")

Oklahoma Health Initiatives is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that has received Medicare approval to participate in Medicare’s Shared Savings program. OKHI is wholly owned by St. John Health System and was formed in 2013. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high-quality care to their Medicare patients. According to Medicare, the goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. The OKHI patient care model envisions a person-centered approach to health care emphasizing prevention and wellness, chronic disease management, and better care coordination across the full continuum of care. We seek to improve the health status of each patient in a manner that spends health care dollars wisely and effectively.

About St. John Health System

St. John Health System is a not-for-profit Catholic health care system founded in 1926. St. John operates hospitals in Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Sapulpa, Bartlesville and Nowata, as well as physician offices throughout northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. Other subsidiaries of St. John Health System include St. John Clinic, St. John Clinic Urgent Care and medical complexes in south Tulsa and Claremore. St. John serves more than 3,500 patients every day. St. John is a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system.

About Ascension

Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care – including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension's own group purchasing organization.

Aetna Media Contact

Rohan Hutchings

St. John Media Contact

Joy McGill