Aetna Extends Banner Relation

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As anextension to the deal signed between Aetna (AET) and Banner Health Network for Accountable Care Collaboration in November last year, the companies will now offer health management and other patient oriented services to over 200,000 patients.

Aetna will promote improved care quality, coordination and convenience for the doctors and their patients covered by Banner Health on implementing its “technology stack” and various other care management services.

Per the agreement, the companies will provide support to 50,000 patients of Medicare fee-for-service who come under the purview of the Pioneer ACO shared savings program. The members who are a part of the Aetna’s ACO relationship with Banner Health Network are also eligible for similar benefits.

Aetnaand its subsidiaries will provide certain services to its target audience following the recent extension of the agreement with Banner Health. The company expects to facilitate easy communication across the entire healthcare platform in a secured way through Medicity. The company also intends to deploy Active Care Team from Active Health Management to enable physicians to access CareEngine-powered support tool to better manage patient health.

iTriage, an application available in various mobile’s application store enables patients to register online for appointments and other pre-registration related services. It is one of the most widely used health and fitness application across all the smartphones.

These offerings are believed to be the biggest on Aetna’s part in the field of technology. Combined with Banner Health, it will set a new level of clinical integration and expediency for the patients.

We believe that Aetna intends to extend its core health business by capitalizing on new consumer and emerging opportunities in the marketplace. The company is well placed financially, which is also reflected in its balance sheet. Further, good performance of the Medicaid and Medicare segments are expected to contribute to its success.

Aetnacurrently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Some of its peers within our coverage, who also retain a Zacks #3 Rank and a long-term Neutral recommendation are CIGNA Corp. (CI), WellPoint Inc. (WLP), Humana Inc. (HUM) and CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS).

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