Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) today announced the launch of a joint program aimed at improving clinical outcomes and reducing costs by slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease in members and facilitating gentler, less costly transitions to dialysis or pre-transplant care. Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time and is often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. The new patient-centric care program enhances coordination of care among specialists, primary care providers and nurses. Together, they identify members at risk and improve clinical management in earlier stages of kidney disease to help slow the progression to kidney failure. An important component of the program involves daily communication of the member’s biometric and health status through a wireless communication device that helps the care team identify, address or even prevent potentially serious complications. "We believe the model will improve our members' quality of life by helping them and their doctors better manage the conditions contributing to or resulting from chronic kidney disease. If dialysis becomes necessary we want to help members begin dialysis with the lowest risk for complications,” says Roger London, M.D., Aetna’s Northeast Region medical director. Often people do not know they have chronic kidney disease because the kidneys may slowly stop working over 10 - 20 years before end-stage disease -- kidney failure – results. Kidney failure often involves an abrupt hospitalization to control complications and to start dialysis. Better coordination, education, planning and awareness of dialysis options provided through the program can help members begin dialysis treatment on a safer, less costly outpatient basis . A track-record of success The program is modeled on Fresenius Health Partners’ successful five-year demonstration project with Medicare beneficiaries on dialysis. Concluded last year with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the project resulted in health care costs 12 percent below the Medicare Advantage and four percent below the Medicare fee-for-service benchmarks for this population. At the same time patients in the program experienced overall improvement in clinical measures including a 24 percent improvement in the rate of mortality and a 20 percent reduction in all-cause hospitalization versus national benchmarks.
"Our company’s focus and expertise is comprehensive renal therapy management. As rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease climb and threaten to dramatically increase the incident rates for renal disease, we want to assist payers, doctors and patients by providing the highest quality and most cost-effective care now," said Peter Sauer, president at Fresenius Health Partners.“We value our business relationship with Fresenius Medical Care and the complementary capabilities they can provide to improve the care our members receive. We believe the new program is one more way we can increase value and quality within the health care system,” said Bill Stout, head of Aetna’s National Provider Contracting. Aetna commercial and Medicare medical members in targeted Northeast markets currently have access to the new program. Additional expansion is expected throughout 2012. About Aetna Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.4 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 and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our 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 www.aetna.com. About Fresenius Medical Care Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) is the world’s leading company devoted to patient-oriented renal therapy. Through more than 2,900 clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney dialysis treatments to approximately 228,000 patients worldwide. We are also the world's leading maker of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a condition that affects about 2 million individuals worldwide. For more information about the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. dialysis facilities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or www.fmcna.com. Legal Disclaimer:
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, including changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, regulatory reforms, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.