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 coordinated home-based care offered in Univita’s Bridges transitional care program has proven to be a valuable element in ensuring a patient’s full recovery,” remarked Dr. John Mach, president of Univita’s complex case management division. “We greatly look forward to extending our services to Aetna Medicare Advantage plan members, and working with Aetna as it seeks to improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.”About Aetna Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 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 and health information technology services. 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 Univita Health Univita is an innovator in providing home-based care management, extending the reach of care management into the home. Our comprehensive approach addresses and manages the complete array of a patient’s care needs, encompassing both clinical and non-clinical drivers of health outcomes. Univita supports the care management efforts of health plans, insurers, health systems and physicians with a focus on the highest risk, most complex populations. To learn more, visit http://www.univitahealth.com.