Aetna and Meridian Health Create Co-Branded Product-Based Accountable Care Organization

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Meridian Health today announced a co-branded, commercial, product-based accountable care organization agreement, which is through Meridian Health Partners, Meridian's clinically integrated network. It offers employers in Monmouth and Ocean counties a health care model designed to improve quality, efficiency and the patient experience.

The ACO includes doctors who are part of Meridian Health Partners, doctors at Meridian hospitals, and affiliated ancillary providers and independent physicians from across Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The new commercial health care plan, known as Aetna Whole Health℠– Meridian Health, gives Aetna members access to highly coordinated care through the physicians of Meridian Health Partners. Health care savings will vary by employer group.

The plans will be available in Monmouth and Ocean counties for self-insured businesses and fully insured customers beginning July 1. Aetna plans to expand the network into other New Jersey counties in the near future.

The Aetna Whole Health℠– Meridian Health network includes over 200 primary care physicians, 700 specialists and six hospitals.

"Meridian Health and Aetna are helping to shift the health care industry from one focused on quantity of services to one that focuses on quality of care," said Michael Costa, executive director of Aetna's New Jersey operations. "We want our members to enjoy more healthy days, with reduced costs and improved efficiency."

Aetna Whole Health℠– Meridian Health network plans are designed to give employers better health care options for their employees. The value-based, patient-centric model of health care focuses on keeping people healthy rather than just treating them when they become sick.

The plans feature a new model of health care delivery designed to offer:

  • More coordinated, team-based care among doctors and other care providers;
  • Enhanced patient experience through best-in-class care management programs and technology that delivers actionable information to providers;
  • Lower overall out-of-pocket costs for members who see providers that are part of the Aetna Whole Health℠– Meridian Health network; and
  • Better health care outcomes.

"At Meridian, we've maintained a keen focus on growing Meridian Health Partners and our population health strategy to better integrate patient care, reduce costs and increase quality," said Patrick R. Young, executive vice president of Meridian Health Solutions. "Innovative partnerships like this one with Aetna are helping us maintain this focus and transform the way care is delivered."

"As a physician of Meridian Health Partners, this agreement with Aetna will enable us to better integrate care, said Raymond Masterson, M.D. "Our mission is to provide the best health care experience with the patient at the center of it all."

"Members of Aetna Whole Health℠– Meridian Health will have access to some of the region's finest physicians," added Young. "Meridian Health Partners includes more than 1,000 physicians and clinicians who are all focused on delivering exceptional care and keeping patients healthy."

Aetna is working with health care organizations nationwide to develop products and services that support value-driven, patient-centered care for health care consumers. Nationally, about 3.2 million Aetna members receive care from doctors committed to the value-based approach, with 30 percent of Aetna claims payments going to doctors and providers who practice value-based care. Aetna has committed to increasing that number to 50 percent by 2018 and 75 percent by 2020. Information about Accountable Care Solutions from Aetna is available at

Aetna provides health benefits to more than 1.2 million people in New Jersey.

About Meridian Health

Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home care and hospice services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers that allow the full continuum of health care services to be offered locally. In May 2015, Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network signed a definitive agreement to merge. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in NJ for clinical quality and nationally is the recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum. Meridian is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" for six consecutive years. Earlier in 2015, Great Place to Work® and Fortune recognized Meridian Health as one of the 20 Best Workplaces in Health Care in the nation and the number one Best Place to Work for Women. Meridian is recognized for patient care and nursing excellence, including being the first health system in the country to achieve Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center at all of its original hospitals. Additionally, Meridian's mission of training the next generation of health care professionals is vital to providing a foundation for sound health in our community. In 2008, Meridian Health launched a four-year nursing program in partnership with Georgian Court University. Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine has also honored Meridian as one of the nation's 100 Most Wired Health Systems for 16 consecutive years. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. For more information, visit

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46.5 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

Aetna Media Contact:

Walt Cherniak

Meridian Health

Robert Cavanaugh