Aetna, Valley Preferred Sign Accountable Care Agreement

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Valley Preferred, a preferred provider organization aligned with Lehigh Valley Health Network, today announced a new accountable care agreement that is designed to improve the quality of care and lower overall health care costs for members of fully insured Aetna commercial plans in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The collaboration will offer area employers better health care options for their employees by:

  • Creating a more coordinated patient experience;
  • Saving employees money when they use providers aligned with Valley Preferred's accountable care (ACO) network; and
  • Improving health care outcomes.

Aetna will introduce fully insured health plans in the region that will use Valley Preferred's community-based systems of care and its ACO network of highly respected physicians. Fully insured products will be offered for employers with two or more employees beginning April 1.

"Aetna is very pleased to announce this collaboration with Valley Preferred," said Patrick Young, president of Aetna's Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware operations. "By forming accountable care relationships with hospital systems, we're improving quality and making health care more affordable and efficient for our customers in Pennsylvania." Aetna provides health benefits to more than 1.3 million people in Pennsylvania.

Aetna and Valley Preferred will offer a wide array of co-branded Aetna Whole Health plans, giving employers choices that enhance the membership experience through a collaborative team approach to the full spectrum of health care. The collaborative, accountable care approach is designed to improve quality and reduce overall health care costs.

"Valley Preferred is pleased to partner with Aetna in this collaborative effort to improve health care quality and value here in our home community," said Dr. Jack A. Lenhart, executive director, Valley Preferred. "Valley Preferred's ACO physicians, care coordination efforts and quality improvement programs, together with Aetna, will work to achieve measurable advancements in patient care and cost control for the employers and families of Lehigh and Northampton counties."

Under the agreement, Valley Preferred has committed to quality and cost outcomes for Aetna members that see Valley Preferred ACO physicians. Members will benefit from Valley Preferred's "Achieving Clinical Excellence," a performance-based incentive program for physicians to improve quality, efficiency and patient care experiences.

Accountable care models drive focus on more coordinated care

ACOs are alliances of physicians, hospitals and other providers that coordinate care for their patients. In an ACO, providers assume responsibility for improving the quality of patient care and lowering costs through better coordination and preventive care. Aetna members in these plans will receive an enhanced level of coordinated care.

Aetna is working with health care organizations across the country to develop products and services that support value-driven, patient-centered care. Aetna's solutions help all types of patients, regardless of payer. Information about Accountable Care Solutions from Aetna is available at

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 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

About Valley Preferred

Valley Preferred, a provider-owned, preferred provider organization aligned with Lehigh Valley Health Network, is dedicated to Achieving Clinical Excellence® through the development and implementation of innovative programs to improve health care delivery and value in the community. Valley Preferred's corporate philosophy is reflected in its performance promise of Care Beyond the Coverage. Among these is Valley Preferred's BeneFITSM Corporate Wellness program provided to employers to promote healthier lifestyles for company employees and a culture of wellness in the workplace. This includes providing a wellness assessment, health workshops and seminars, tobacco cessation resources, corporate health fairs and screenings, and disease management programs. Valley Preferred also offers BeneFIT consultation and the award-winning BeneFIT Toolkit, which is a step-by-step guide designed to assist companies with improving employee wellness. BeneFITSM Corporate Wellness is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for Wellness and Health Promotion. For more information, visit and


Walt Cherniak

Valley Preferred

Tina Werkheiser