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Emory Healthcare and Aetna form accountable care organization

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Janet Christenbury
Emory Healthcare
Walt Cherniak

Emory Healthcare and Aetna announced today the formation of a new accountable care organization, or ACO. The collaboration is designed to improve coordination and delivery of patient care, leading to a better patient experience for Aetna members in the state of Georgia.

Emory Healthcare and Aetna have successfully worked together on a patient-centered medical home arrangement since 2011.

Accountable care organizations are collaborations among physicians, hospitals and health insurance companies that work together to align care for their patients. The participating providers assume the responsibility for improving the quality of patient care and lowering costs through better coordination and preventive care.

Emory Healthcare is the largest health system in Georgia, and it brings together a full range of hospitals, clinics and local practices via the Emory Healthcare Network (EHN). The EHN, which has the most clinically integrated primary care physicians in the state, is committed to providing patients and families with better, more collaborative care for all of their medical needs. To support this effort, the network has established a single comprehensive care management system that is connected electronically through the Emory Healthcare Health Information Exchange.

Aetna members who receive care from Emory Healthcare Network physicians and facilities will be able to access more coordinated care, particularly those patients with chronic or complex conditions. Members will also benefit from the improved flow of information among treating physicians within the network.

EHN physicians and Aetna will have joint responsibility for quality, patient satisfaction and costs related to the health care they provide.

"We are very excited about our new collaboration with Emory Healthcare," said Angela Meoli, president of Aetna’s operations in Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. "Working with health systems like Emory, we’re redefining the relationship between insurers and providers. The end result will be better, more efficient and more affordable care for our members."

"This ACO allows us to provide a wide variety of high-quality, health care services through a sustainable health care delivery system that offers value to patients, employers and payers by delivering outstanding clinical care and outcomes," says Patrick Hammond, CEO of the Emory Healthcare Network. "By collaborating on care, the organizations are able to reduce unnecessary repeat services and procedures, as well as their associated costs."

Carefully tracked quality metrics are used to assess how clinically integrated networks help in improving patient care and are fundamental to the incentive structure. This ACO agreement includes a shared savings model that rewards providers for meeting certain quality and efficiency measures.

The agreement is also designed to:

  • Create a more coordinated patient experience;

  • Save employees money when they use providers aligned with Emory Healthcare; and

  • Improve health care outcomes.

About Emory Healthcare

Emory Healthcare, with more than 16,000 employees, is the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia. It includes: Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Rehabilitation Hospital in Partnership with Select Medical, Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates and the Emory Healthcare Network.

In fiscal year 2014, Emory Healthcare had $2.7 billion in annual net revenue and provided $80.3 million in charity care. Systemwide, it has 1,830 licensed patient beds.

Emory Healthcare's core purpose: "To serve humanity by improving health through integration of education, discovery and health care." For more information, visit

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46 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, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's 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 and learn about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @aetna

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