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Aetna expands ACO agreements in New York

CMS quality and efficiency measures will be used to track Weill Cornell Physicians’ performance and improve utilization of medical services

Weill Cornell Physicians, Cornell University’s physician group, has inked a new accountable care agreement with Aetna, intended to enhance care for approximately 9,000 of the insurer's commercial and Medicare members in New York.

“This collaboration will add to the effort of aligning our Weill Cornell faculty with the Triple Aim of improving quality, lowering costs and performing population-health management,” said Michael Wolk, MD, chair of the Weill Cornell Physicians’ Managed Care Committee, in a press release.

The accountable care arrangements involve the Weill Cornell Physicians’ 1,237 doctors, healthcare professionals and care managers who work with Aetna to coordinate healthcare services.

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“Aetna and Weill Cornell are stepping forward to collaborate and share in the accountability of positive patient outcomes,” said David Kobus, Aetna senior vice president, New York Network, in a statement.

Under the new agreement for commercial members, Aetna will recognize the Weill Cornell Physicians Organization for achieving quality and efficiency benchmarks. It also will help Weill Cornell expand its care-management program and add health information technology. Under the Medicare arrangement, CMS quality and efficiency measures will be used to track Weill Cornell Physicians’ performance and improve utilization of medical services and communication among medical professionals.

“Many Medicare members have complex healthcare needs that go undetected,” said Terry Golash, MD, senior medical director, Aetna, New York, in the press release. “When care providers and insurers work together in a Medicare collaboration model, information and resources can be shared to improve care and direct outreach.”

Similar to other Medicare collaborations in place in New York and elsewhere, Aetna nurse case managers will work closely with the Weill Cornell Physicians to identify, coordinate the care of these members and ensure adherence to best practices and treatment plans.

Aetna is emphasizing the development of products and services, and partnering with providers to do so, that support value-driven, patient-centered care. Presently in New York, Aetna has over 100,000 members served through value-based collaborative arrangements, with the intent to reach 200,000 – or approximately 20 percent of its membership – by year end. Nationally, more than 2.3 million Aetna members participate in similar healthcare models.