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HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Want to look up the status of a claim while you’re standing in the doctor’s office? Find a cardiologist and make an appointment during your train ride to work? Research the price of your prescription from the grocery aisle? Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced an approach to engaging its members on the go that includes mobile web, smartphone “apps,” and text messaging that meets these needs and more. In fact, this combined approach will provide mobile solutions for the vast majority of Aetna members – whether they have a basic cell phone or a smartphone with full Internet access.
“Our culture is increasingly on the go – with one in five Americans accessing the mobile web on a typical day,” said Meg McCabe, vice president of consumer marketing and product for Aetna. “It’s imperative that we meet our members where they are with resources that engage them in making well-informed health care decisions, improve their interactions with their physicians, and even help them save a little money along the way.”
Aetna consumer research found that the most appealing health-related mobile applications help users save money and easily access health information. Consumers particularly favor resources that offer personalization and convenience – with an emphasis on items like online provider directories, pricing tools and personal health records. Based on this research, Aetna is providing mobile access to a variety of features including its DocFind online provider directory, the Aetna Personal Health Record, Price-a-Drug, claims search, and electronic ID cards.
Aetna.com in the palm of your hand
Recent visitors to www.aetna.com from a mobile device may have noticed that some of its most popular and useful features have been reformatted for viewing from a mobile browser. Not only have specific features been specifically designed for mobile browsing, they also have been streamlined to speed up on-the-go web surfing. When searching for a claim, for example, users are provided with their five most recent claims as a starting point, and then offered the opportunity to search further. Members searching for a physician are immediately given the option of searching for a specialist, eliminating several “clicks” from the process.
We have an “app” for that
Soon, smartphone users will be able to download a free application specifically designed for Aetna members. Available in April, the Aetna Mobile Application will provide Blackberry and iPhone users with more advanced functionality than the mobile web, since it will leverage the key features of smartphones to make it even easier for members to complete specific tasks. For example:
Texting for good health
Aetna’s Medicaid plan in Delaware (Delaware Physicians Care) pioneered the use of health-related texting, successfully using it since 2006. Aetna Medicaid currently offers a program to diabetic members that reminds them to have routine blood testing, and a program for pregnant members that reminds them of appointments and encourages them to reschedule missed appointments. The members also receive messages with important health information. The programs have shown that text messaging successfully engages members in their health. In fact, compliance with blood testing rose from 52 to 70 percent in members with diabetes in the initial pilot program.
Now, Aetna is expanding its texting capabilities to its commercial membership. Later this month Aetna will pilot a text-based alcohol risk assessment to determine a member’s risk for problem drinking. This assessment will be available to callers to Aetna’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Alcohol Disease Management program Should a member be at risk for problem drinking, they will be given the opportunity to connect with an Aetna counselor. A key aspect of the program is an automated 30-day follow-up with members, ensuring a touch point with those who may be in need of additional support.
Ready to go mobile?
Consumers who are already mobile can visit www.aetna.com from any web-enabled phone to check out the ease of mobile browsing for themselves. Even those who are not ready for mobile browsing can learn more by visiting the site from their home or work computer to see an animated demo of Aetna’s mobile capabilities and access frequently asked questions and answers.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional 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, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.