Banner Health and Aetna have partnered up in order to create a health plan company called Banner | Aetna. It will be co-owned by both entities. The new company is said to focus on bringing improvements to patient experience as well as to the affordability and quality of health care.
The company is a way of combing the cutting-edge analytics, health information technology and expertise in health planning that Aetna provides, with the delivery system and impressive facilities that Banner is known for. Currently, the new company will focus on providing health coverage to employees and employers operating in Maricopa and Pinal counties. There are plans of further expansion.
The partnership makes sense considering the success of the five-year Accountable Care Organization or ACO by Banner and Aetna. The goal of the new company is to eliminate the redundancies present in the health care system.
The savings due to more streamlined health care services will then be passed on to the employer and consumers through lower premiums. According to Aetna’s Gary Loveman, both companies are working together to better redefine the health care model and in turn offer “healthier days” to their clients.
Beginning January, 2017, self-insured and fully insured clients in Maricopa and Pinal counties will be offered new commercial products. Members of Aetna who are already part of ACO will be given the option to shift to the plants being offered by the new partnership.
Aetna members will have access to the impressive Banner Health Network. The said network currently includes more than 5,800 specialists and 900 primary care physicians. It also has more than 125 urgent care centers, 9 health centers, 14 hospitals, and a total of 11 emergency centers.
It is believed that health care for citizens of Arizona will be positively changed by Banner | Aetna. It will streamline customer service by linking the secure Aetna member site to the patient portal provided by Banner. This will allow members to look at their appointments, plans, lab results, etc.
A 24-hour phone line, Member Experience Center or MEC, will be available. The line will be managed by local nurses from Banner. Affordability of health care will also be increased in neighborhoods covering Maricopa and Pinal counties.