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Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Univita Health announced today that they will be offering a transitional care program to Aetna Medicare Advantage members in Texas. The program began in January for Medicare Advantage eligible members who are discharged from selected hospitals in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.
The transitional care program will help Aetna Medicare Advantage members to transition smoothly from a hospital or skilled nursing facility to their home and prevent avoidable hospital readmissions. Similar programs administered by Aetna and Univita use evidence-based approaches and have been shown to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions significantly.
“Aetna is focused on offering programs and services that help lead to better health outcomes through collaborative care coordination,” said Dr. Randall Krakauer, Aetna’s national Medicare medical director. “We already offer our Medicare Advantage members a number of care management programs to help improve the quality of care and reduce health care costs. The new transitional care program will help Medicare Advantage members who are treated in a hospital receive coordinated home-based care as they complete their recovery.”
Upon admission to a participating hospital, one of Univita’s specially trained nurses will reach out to the member and their caregiver. The nurse will engage the member about their condition and discharge plan in order to determine the type of support the individual will need when they go home. If the member is admitted to a skilled nursing facility prior to returning home, the nurse will also engage the member while they are in the skilled nursing facility.
Once home, the Univita nurse can help the member in a number of different ways, such as:
Assessing the member’s living conditions,
Educating the member and caregiver on their discharge plan,
Describing how to take their medications properly, and
Explaining the signs and symptoms that may necessitate a call to the doctor, as well as the importance of having follow-up physician visits.
The Univita nurse will also coordinate with an Aetna nurse case manager, who will be assigned to each member.