For Diabetes Patients, a Care Coach Is Just a Click Away

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CVS Health pharmacist Matthew Scarnecchia could see the concern on the face of his patient. Richard, a 59-year-old man who suffered not only from Type 2 diabetes but also high blood pressure and high cholesterol, was alarmed by the results of his latest blood-sugar test. His A1c was 7.5 percent — above his goal range of below 7 percent.

With a few questions, Scarnecchia learned that Richard was worried about also getting low blood sugar from his diabetes medication. It turned out that Richard was taking his diabetes medication in the morning, but not eating until he was at his workplace after a long commute. “I recommended that he take his Glipizide with his breakfast at work to see if that would help,” Scarnecchia says. It did. Just a few months later, Richard’s A1c had dropped to 6.3 percent and he was no longer having low blood sugar readings.

Nearly as satisfying, this one-on-one consult took place without either man leaving his desk, even though they were 2,000 miles apart – one in Arizona, one in Florida. Through his insurance provider, the patient had signed on to CVS Health’s Medication Therapy Management program and met with Scarnecchia face-to-face via an online app that can be accessed through any computer or mobile device.

Personal Consultations from Anywhere

Once enrolled in the program, patients can slot in a video consultation from anywhere. In addition to their regular doctor’s appointments, they can talk with a specialized pharmacist who can advise on medication compliance, interactions and side effects, and, most importantly, suggest some everyday adjustments, such as diet and exercise, that can make an immense difference in controlling diabetes.

CVS Health’s Medication Therapy Management program provides patients with one-on-one care with a specialized pharmacist who can help them better manage their chronic condition from the comfort of home.
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A video meeting benefits patients and pharmacists alike. A patient can show his or her latest blood-sugar results or other medical reports without needing to mail them. If a patient is having issues injecting insulin, the pharmacist can point to possible alternative injection sites on a visual model. The one-on-one view also allows pharmacists to pick up on nonverbal cues. “I can see if a patient seems confused about their results and give explanations that might be helpful,” says Scarnecchia.

Patients can take advantage of this face-to-face coaching even before they might need medication. With diabetes tied to so many other health concerns — high blood pressure, nerve damage, heart disease — it’s especially vital to try to halt or slow down the condition’s progress.

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

When an A1c of 5.8 percent tipped him into the prediabetic range, 60-year-old Jeff welcomed the chance for video chats with pharmacist Brian O’Halloran, and has kept those appointments every three to four months. “During our visits, we’ve discussed healthy lifestyle changes,” says O’Halloran. “Jeff decided to stop drinking diet sodas, and reported, nine months later, that he’d stayed off them.” 

Small but attainable goals are easier to meet, explains O’Halloran.

“In March 2018, Jeff said he wanted to lose 5 pounds before his next time we talked. I told him ‘Don’t shop the aisles.’ That’s where grocery stores stock all the processed foods. Instead, I suggested he shop the perimeter — where he could pick up fresh vegetables and meats. When we spoke again in July, he’d lost 6 pounds.”

Both pharmacists find that patients look forward to the on-screen sessions, which often last for 30 minutes. Even a patient’s family member may stop by to wave hello, says Scarnecchia. Patients can also contact the pharmacist in between scheduled sessions. When a patient shares good news about improved bloodwork, O’Halloran warmly congratulates them on their success.

For diabetes patients, a video visit is part of the “big picture” of managing of their condition. Patients can ask questions that may not have occurred to them while in their doctor’s office. “It’s more like a conversation,” says O’Halloran, “and more comfortable for the patients.”

To learn more about our enterprise-wide approach to diabetes management and care, visit our Managing Diabetes with CVS Health page.

To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Helping Patients Better Manage Diabetes

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As CVS Health’s Senior Director of Transformation Stella Wong explains, diabetes is a difficult condition to manage. There are a number of things patients need to do on a routine basis, such as checking blood glucose levels, eating right, exercising, or taking the right medications at the right time.

“The list is literally hundreds of items long,” Stella says.

CVS Health is in a unique position to help. From new, innovative programs to in-store screenings at MinuteClinics and HealthHUB locations, learn how we’re helping people with diabetes better manage their condition and lead healthier lives.

From new, innovative programs to in-store screenings at MinuteClinics and HealthHUB locations, watch this video to learn how CVS Health is helping people with diabetes better manage their condition and lead healthier lives.
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“Our tremendous reach into people’s communities (and) our focus on new technologies will allow us to add an entire other layer of support and care for patients,” says Dr. Alan Lotvin, Chief Transformation Officer. “We have the opportunity and the ability to fundamentally reshape and augment the care delivery system in the United States.”

Watch the video above to learn more.

To learn more about our enterprise-wide approach to diabetes management and care, visit our Managing Diabetes with CVS Health page.

To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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The Importance of Bringing Diabetes Care into the Community

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This article was written by Dr. Dan Knecht, Vice President of Health Strategy & Innovation at CVS Health.

1.5 million: That’s the number of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes each year. 327 billion: That was the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017, according to the American Diabetes Association.

These are big numbers, but they don’t tell the whole story. In addition to my day job as Vice President of Health Strategy and Innovation at CVS Health, I practice as a physician at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York City. During my weekend rotations, I see firsthand the very real and negative impacts of uncontrolled diabetes on my patients. Diabetes can cause vision loss, kidney failure and neuropathic pain, in addition to accelerating and worsening cardiovascular disease.

Thankfully, the news is not all bad. As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes rises, so are the resources and treatment options available to them.

CVS Health recently partnered with Morning Consult to better understand the needs of people living with diabetes and the providers who deliver diabetes care. What we heard from patients and doctors is a desire to:

  • Expand access to local care
  • Better manage and predict out-of-pocket costs
  • Provide additional lifestyle support in the form of nutrition, exercise and social services

In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, I sat down with fellow diabetes experts Dr. Steve Edelman, M.D., founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, and Joy Pape, R.N., a nationally known family nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator, to discuss how we can address some of these needs through real action.

Watch our full CVS Health Live discussion above.

Read Dr. Knecht’s full article on LinkedIn.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Multi-Dose Packaging Is Making It Easier to Take Medications

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Lee Ann Pace was having trouble keeping up with her multiple prescriptions, sometimes running out of her medications before she got them refilled.

She’s not alone. Taking medications as prescribed is one of the best ways to control chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, but with dose changes, regimen changes, manufacturer changes and other barriers, keeping up with multiple medications can be a challenge.

That’s why we offer no-cost multi-dose packaging, making it easier for customers and members to take their medications and stay on their path to better health.

“Everything they need for each time of day is there packed together with their name, the information about the medication, the prescriber, lot numbers, expiration dates…all there for the patient,” says Lynn Parker, CVS Pharmacy manager.

Watch the video to learn more.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Free Screenings, Helpful Advice and a Visit from Pro Athletes at Project Health

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A customer receives a free health screening.
This Project Health event in Atlanta was one of nearly 600 targeting underserved communities.
A customer receiving a free health screening.
More than 87 percent of patients who attend Project Health events report following-up with their primary care physician.
A CVS Pharmacy store with Project Health sign.
Nearly 600 Project Health free health screenings were held in CVS store locations across the country.

Jean Peterson dropped by the City Line Avenue CVS Pharmacy in West Philadelphia to pick up pictures she’d dropped off at the photo department. Moments later, she also came away with a better picture of her own health — and the chance to snap a selfie with two local heroes: former Villanova basketball star Donte DiVincenzo and state Rep. Morgan Cephas.

Peterson had happened upon one of the many free screenings that CVS Health is offering across the country. During the next four months, nearly 600 Project Health events will take place in multicultural communities with a large number of uninsured or underinsured Americans. At each event, participants receive on-the-spot assessments of weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels – tests that can help detect risk for chronic conditions such diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Since its founding in 2006, Project Health’s free health and wellness screenings have delivered more than $127 million in free health care services to nearly 1.7 million Americans.

One of those Americans was Peterson. The 70-year-old retired nurse learned that her blood sugar was a bit high, most likely due to medications she was given after a recent back surgery. “I always take advantage of things like this,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt and it keeps me in touch with what I need to take care of.”

Know Your Numbers

Sometimes, the people who think they need the testing the least are the ones who benefit the most.

Brenda, a screener technician at the Project Health event in the Kendall neighborhood of Miami, said a lot of very fit people come in to be screened, usually because they want to know their BMI. But other tests are just as important. One of her patients was diagnosed with high blood pressure.

“The guy said, ‘I’m very fit, I go to the gym and stuff like that, I train people, too,’” said Brenda, who is applying to medical school. But they tested him three more times – once manually – and the results were the same. “And the doctor was like, ‘Hey, you need to go to your doctor and follow up. Please.’ We were very shocked. He looked extremely healthy, very muscular.”

Speaking Their Language

Many of our Miami stores sit in Hispanic neighborhoods, emphasizing the importance of having bilingual screeners, says Elena Ferrales, a health screening manager for Project Health.

Cristina, a young mother, wheeled her seven-month-old into the Miami store and signed up to have a screening while her baby slept in the stroller. She had diabetes while she was pregnant, and though her levels have gone down, she tries to check them regularly. After her screening, she sat with the doctor and, conversing in both English and Spanish, they discussed her results and he gave her food recommendations.

Later, a similar conversation with an older man was conducted entirely in Spanish.

A Slam Dunk for Health

As much as anyone, professional athletes understand the importance of good health. They also understand that it’s not always easy for people to access the care they need to achieve it.

“If I wake up feeling something is wrong, I know there’s a handful of people ready to check me out,” says Donte DiVincenzo, a two-time NCAA basketball champ with the Villanova Wildcats, now a point guard with the Milwaukee Bucks. “But I shouldn’t get special treatment just because I’m a pro athlete. Everyone should have these resources.”

A handful of athletes were featured speakers at Project Health events. In addition to DiVincenzo, who appeared in Philadelphia, Los Angeles Clippers forward Mfiondu Kabengele spoke in Anaheim and Heat player Bam Adebayo attended the Miami event.

Kabengele says he learned during his first year with the NBA the importance of undergoing regular checkups. Small everyday steps, he says, can add up.

“When you have poor health, everything dumbs down,” he says. “When you're healthy, your motor is good. Preventive care is a reality check to make improvements.”

Being good sports, the athletes joined the customers to be screened. Adebayo – a player for the Heat – noted how easy it was to get screened inside the store.

“You don’t have the anxiety, you don’t have to have an appointment, you don’t need to be there at 8, the anxiety of waiting around, what if something is wrong with me?” he said. “You just walk in, get it, see how it goes.”

Access for All

Morgan Cephas, a track and field star at Central High School in Philadelphia and now a Pennsylvania state representative, knows the importance of health care from the perspective of both an athlete and a policymaker. As vice chair of the House Democrats’ Women’s Health Caucus, she noted that 10 percent of those in her district are uninsured or underinsured.

“Not everyone is the daughter or cousin or friend of a state representative,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to choose between managing their health and keeping a roof over their heads.”

An Immediate Impact

What happens after the screenings is up to the individual. But for one participant, the consultation had an immediate impact.

Zita James, 68, had been on her way to the nearby coffee shop when she noticed signs outside for the free screenings at the Philadelphia location. After her detour to CVS, she chose to make a positive change to her health.

“It stopped me going next door and getting two jelly doughnuts!” she laughed.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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A Lifelong Struggle, a Tearful Reconciliation

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In the year since Jeff Balek began working for the Guardian Angels program, where he reaches out to Aetna members who have survived an opioid-related overdose to connect them with support and resources, Balek estimates he has spoken to hundreds of people who nearly died from an opioid overdose, and he has heard hundreds of heart-wrenching stories.

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Jeff Balek, a Guardian Angels program clinical lead, works one-on-one with members recently released from the ER following an overdose.

But one story stands seared in his memory above the others: A man in his 40s named Kevin, who struggled with addiction for most his life and was now sober for the first time in decades, whose greatest wish was to try to rectify his greatest regret — his estranged relationship with his mother.

The problem was that he had no idea how to find her. Or whether she even wanted to see him. He searched desperately for six months to locate her, and when he did, the news was staggering. She was living out her final days in hospice care, more than a thousand miles away in Florida.

Could he find the money to arrange the trip? Could he get there in time? And, most importantly: Would she welcome him if he did?

“All I want is to at least have a chance to make things right,” he told Jeff.

Closing the Gap Between Overdose and Much-Needed Treatment and Support

Kevin’s story is a poignant example of the devastation that opioids can wreak on a family, but also of the redemptive opportunities for people who seek and receive help.

Those opportunities are why Aetna launched the Guardian Angels program as pilot in 2018. The company’s data showed hundreds of people were visiting emergency rooms each month with opioid-related overdoses. They all had complex needs for treatment and recovery, but the ER doctors’ job was limited to helping them survive an overdose. Once they survived, they were on their own again. It was like being treated for frostbite but then sent back outside into frigid temperatures. Without a coat.

Guardian Angels is part of our company-wide commitment to help address the abuse and misuse of prescription opioids, which includes everything from a safe medication disposal program in Ohio to Pharmacists Teach, an outreach program that’s reached more than 450,000 students and parents since 2015.

“We noticed patients would be discharged with minimal ongoing support,” says Daniel Knecht, MD, Aetna’s vice president of health strategy and innovation.

The Guardian Angels program was designed to close that gap. Clinicians who specialize in addiction recovery call members after they’ve been discharged to lend support, to offer education, and to connect them to community resources.

To date, the program has helped more than 600 members and their families, and the Guardian Angels staff has gone from a single person to two — Balek works alongside clinician Ramona Zarate — and is looking to expand again.

“We reach out when the individual is most needing help and most susceptible to intervention,” Balek says. “They had a near-death experience. Their defenses are broken down. They’re on the brink of emotional deterioration.”

“Talking about substance use is difficult,” Zarate says. “It’s important to give the person a safe space to discuss their experiences, their fears and their hopes for the future.”

There is no shortage of need. More than 70,000 people in the United States in 2017 died from drug overdoses, and that number continues to grow. Balek estimates that he and Zarate each talk to as many as 10 people a day. Outreach and perseverance are key; it sometimes takes up to eight calls just to reach someone.

Once the connection is made, the angels’ conversations with the members can stretch for months. The idea is to continue providing support until the patient reaches what they call “early remission,” which usually takes about three months. But Balek says he never cuts anyone off. As long as they’re willing to talk, he’s willing to listen. There’s always a goodbye, eventually, but Balek wants to make sure it’s “goodbye for a good reason.”

A Second Chance

In Kevin’s case, Balek stayed in touch for almost a year, as he struggled with facing the pain of his estrangement, as he searched for his mother, and as he wrestled with doubts about whether to approach her.

In the end, with Balek’s help and support, Kevin took the leap of faith and visited. To his relief, she welcomed him with open arms, glad to see him, and thrilled that he had shed his demons, at least for now. They shared the few good memories they had, back before addiction dug its claws into his life. They shared tears.

“The joy in his voice was incredible,” Balek says.

A few weeks later, Kevin’s mother died.

As he does with most of his patients, Balek eventually lost touch with Kevin. Last he heard, Kevin had found a job and a girlfriend, and had moved to Florida — almost as if he wanted a way to feel closer to his mother, as if her love and acceptance before she died made Florida feel like a safe, welcoming place.

Last Balek heard, Kevin was still sober.

Recently, Balek found notes from his last conversation with Kevin. These were what turned out to be the final words Kevin said to him: “I really didn’t think my Mom would see me doing well again. She got to see me looking good and clear-eyed and smiling. She got to see the real me, who always loved and cared for her.”

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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We Can All Help Prevent Suicide

We Can All Help Prevent Suicide
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Suicide is a serious public health problem that impacts people, families and communities, including the workplace. While suicide rates have increased in nearly every state between 1999 and 2016, it is a cause of death that is also preventable.  

At CVS Health, we understand that a commitment to holistic health includes supporting mental and emotional health and working to prevent suicide. That’s why Aetna works in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to advocate for suicide prevention through engagement, awareness and education.  In observance of National Suicide Prevention Month, we’re highlighting some of Aetna’s initiatives to reduce suicide. 

To start, Aetna Behavioral Health is endorsing updated screening tools which are easy to administer and more effective at reaching all populations. 

“We believe there should be universal screening for everyone, not just high-risk individuals,” said Aimee Prange, senior strategic planner for Aetna Behavioral Health. “There are lots of individuals who may not demonstrate signs but are still thinking about suicide. If we ask questions, we can begin to create a safety net.” 

Aetna is also integrating patient safety planning and proactive outreach to members days after a suicide attempt with messages of hope. 

“We want to make sure members have a reason, and an avenue, to reach out to us to receive care management and other help,” said Prange. 

We are also working to engage caregivers, family members and friends to help impact suicide prevention. Support systems can help members develop important life skills and encourage them to get treatment and stick with it. In addition, they can provide safety and support to avert a time of crisis.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Four Things Your Doctor Might Not Ask – But You Should Share Anyway

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A doctor and a patient examine a radiograph.

Don’t let your next checkup go by without telling your doctor about these four things. The answers might be an important part of diagnosing, treating and even preventing health problems.

How are you sleeping?

If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep a night, frequently wake up during the night, or wake up feeling tired, it can mean more than a cranky start to your day or a mid-afternoon yearning for a nap. Sleep problems – from getting too little sleep to problems like sleep apnea – can increase your blood pressure, your blood glucose and your weight, and put you at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. It even makes you more likely to have a work or auto accident. Scientists say lack of sleep influences hormone levels, which in turn can have complex consequences for health.

If you’re having any problems with sleep, tell your doctor so she can consider whether it’s impacting your health issues. Ask about ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Are you using any herbal, alternative or complementary medicine?

Many people use their own non-traditional approaches to good health that might not be available by prescription. That may be fine – but your doctor needs to know. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it won’t impact your health or interact with other medications your doctor prescribes. Supplements like body building, weight loss products or megavitamins, for example, can affect your health in unintended ways. Your doctor can make sure the information is included in your medical record to avoid future problems and keep track of all the medications you are taking.

There also are many well respected therapies that complement traditional medicine, from acupuncture and chiropractic care to yoga, meditation and therapeutic massage. Your doctor should know if you are using any of these, so together you can consider all aspects of your health and well-being.

How’s your love life?

We get it, it’s private. But your doctor should know about your sexual activity and what precautions you are taking against sexually transmitted diseases.

You should also tell your doctor if you are experiencing any change in sexual function, which can be an indicator of other health issues.

What can’t you do?

Does your health keep you from doing any activities you want to do? Did you give up jogging because your knee hurts too much, or knitting because arthritis in your fingers makes it too painful? Can’t walk the dog around the neighborhood because you get short-of-breath? Your doctor won’t know, and can’t help you figure out the problem and address it, unless you bring it up at your visit.

Communicating with your doctor is an important part of patient safety. Make sure you are telling your doctor everything he or she needs to know.

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How One Man Unintentionally Overdosed Every Day on Blood Thinners

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Half of heart disease patients don’t take their medications as recommended. As a result, they end up in the hospital more often. Yet a recent study of cardiologists found most didn’t know if their patients are taking the medicines they prescribed to help prevent heart problems. Most said they don’t ask if patients are taking their medications, even though the doctors know how important it is.

A new form of health plans, called accountable care organizations (ACOs), are bridging the communication gap between doctors and their patients. ACOs are integrated networks of hospitals, doctor’s offices and other health care facilities that get paid by an insurer based on the quality and efficiency of care their patients receive – not how many visits, tests, surgeries and hospital stays they bill. Working together with the insurer, they can have access to information about an ACO patient’s care.

That means the doctor has more information at his or her fingertips when the patient visits. Has the patient been filling his prescriptions regularly? What were the results of the most recent tests he had? What other doctors have seen him, and what treatment or recommendation came from that visit?

Where it’s working

Leaders from two organizations offering ACOs in cooperation with Aetna talked about the advantages of ACO arrangements at a recent bswift conference.

“Too often doctors don’t know what’s going on with the patient at other doctors or hospitals. The insurer knows,” said Dan Styf, senior vice president at Memorial Hermann Health System and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Health Plan in Houston. “Data from claims gives us perspective, so when the patient is sick and shows up in the system, we can see what is happening and take action.”

Three different doctors unknowingly prescribed blood thinners to the same patient. As a result, the patient was unintentionally overdosing on blood thinners… every day.

At Advocate Physician Partners in Chicago, the patient record system showed a man with a heart condition was already a “frequent flyer” in his local Advocate emergency room. A care manager called the patient to see if she could help.

According to Scott Kent, vice president of Field Operations for Advocate Physician Partners, the care manager found the patient was already being seen by two other doctors outside the ACO. None of them knew about the other doctors, so all three doctors had prescribed blood thinners. The patient’s unintentional daily overdose was sending him to the ER.

ACOs growing across the country

Established with private insurers or as part of a Medicare or Medicaid program, existing ACOs are growing and new ACOs are starting up; they are now in 49 states and the District of Columbia (the only state without one today is North Dakota). The federal government alone has almost 500 ACO arrangements for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, and many private insurers are entering into ACO arrangements at a similar pace. Aetna, for example, is on track to have 75 percent of its payments in value-based care arrangements, including ACOs, by 2020.

Under these value-based arrangements, the health systems are paid based on the quality and efficiency of care their patients receive. Many of the quality measures are related to the effective use of medications. That means ACOs put particular focus on making sure patients are on the right medications and are taking them as directed.

ACOs put particular focus on making sure patients are on the right medications and are taking them as directed.

Some health plans are built around an ACO. For example, Aetna and bswift, the Aetna company that offers private exchange and benefit administration capabilities to employers, brokers and other organizations, offer ACO-based plans to employers and individuals in many areas of the country.

People who belong to other plans and choose a doctor or hospital that is part of an ACO network may also get the benefits of the arrangement, and not even know it. Those benefits include improved quality measures, shorter hospital stays, fewer readmissions and increased use of generic drugs – all of which mean the patient can spend less on health care.

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Navigating a Behavioral Health Issue (Hint: Avoid the Internet)

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Unlike the flu – which a physician can typically diagnose and prescribe any necessary treatment for in a single office visit – navigating a behavioral health issue such as depression or substance use disorder is less clear.

“Understanding behavioral health conditions, and knowing where and when to seek help, can be a completely new experience for a member,” said Antonio Rocchino, Senior Director, Network Management, Aetna Behavioral Health. “We understand the instinct to try to find a facility on Google or seek help from a doctor featured on the news, but they may not provide the quality or expertise required in the particular situation.”

According to researchAetna Behavioral Health surveyed 273 members of the Building a Healthy Tomorrow and Aetna Medicare Communities from September 14 – 24, 2018. conducted by Aetna Behavioral Health, nearly 50 percent of consumers relied on the internet to identify inpatient behavioral health services. For those seeking an outpatient behavioral health provider, consumers asked their doctor for a referral (29 percent), called their insurance company (26 percent) or utilized a personal recommendation (17 percent).

“When seeking to access behavioral health care, attempting to reconcile a variety of recommendations, and the associated costs, should not be another source of stress,” said Rocchino.

Aetna is ready to help members identify appropriate care in their communities.

Aetna Behavioral Health can help members and their loved ones identify resources that best fits the situation, including facilities that are part of its Institute of Quality® network. These facilities, available in certain states, meet strict criteria and specialize in treating substance use disorder. Aetna Behavioral Health is also collaborating with certain facilities to go a step further and provide a personalized experience for the member, as well as their family and caregivers. Services could include certified peer support specialists and resources to improve social determinants of health, such as financial and legal issues.

Finally, and equally important, going in network may mean less money out of members’ pockets, and more services covered within agreed upon rates with providers.

Ready to learn more about behavioral health and accessing care? Aetna Behavioral Health has produced a series of new Let’s Talk Videos to help members better understand the variety of specialized resources within the Behavioral Health network, and the high-quality and value of the providers. Learn more about quality and costs by viewing the first two videos now. Videos on facing a mental health crisis, specialty resources and questions to ask will be available soon.

Watch Now

Coming Soon

  • Let’s Talk: The Value of a Network During a Mental Health Crisis
  • Let’s Talk: Specialty Resources Available In-Network
  • Let’s Talk: Questions to Consider When Choosing a Program or Facility

Aetna members can use DocFind to ensure they are always using an in-network provider. Members can simply log into their account on Aetna.com and select the type of provider they need and their location. The system will return providers in their area that are accepting new patients.

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