Aetna and Atlantic Accountable Care Organization Forge New Relationship

Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Aetna to serve more than 28,000 members in six NJ counties

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Atlantic Accountable Care Organization (Atlantic ACO), a partner of Atlantic Health System, today announced a new accountable care agreement that will improve the coordination and delivery of patient care. Atlantic ACO will deliver a better patient experience for more than 28,000 Aetna members in Morris, Sussex, Union, Somerset, Warren and Passaic counties.

Atlantic ACO is a group of health care providers who coordinate care and are accountable for cost, quality and patient satisfaction for the health care they provide. The Atlantic ACO includes more than 1,700 primary care physicians and specialists.

Aetna members who use the Atlantic ACO and Centers of Excellence will experience more coordinated care, particularly those patients with chronic or complex conditions. They also will have enhanced access to appropriate care and they will benefit from the improved flow of information to treating physicians in the Atlantic ACO.

"Simply stated, when hospitals and health plans work together, health care improves for the people we serve," said John Lawrence, president, Aetna – New Jersey. "Aetna will work closely with the ACO physicians to identify specific areas where we can either develop or improve on the sharing of specific, useful health information. In turn, the physicians will use this information to improve care for patients, close gaps in care and reduce waste. We are creating a continuous loop of improved information to drive better care. By working together, we can bring better health, better care and better cost to thousands of Aetna members beginning this spring."

"We are very excited to partner with Aetna, and together, offer patients well-coordinated care to live healthier, more productive lives," said David Shulkin, M.D., president, Atlantic ACO and Morristown Medical Center and vice president, Atlantic Health System. "We look forward to working with Aetna to deliver superior results for our patients."

Aetna members who have been treated by Atlantic ACO affiliated physicians over the last 24 months will be attributed to this agreement. Their benefits will not change, but they will be part of a select group who will receive highly coordinated, personalized care. To support these members, Atlantic ACO's coordinators will complement Aetna's care management programs in an effort to lower the number of days patients spend hospitalized and improve members' health outcomes.

The careful tracking of quality metrics is a critical part of why accountable care organizations are successful at improving patient care and are fundamental to the incentive structure. This agreement includes a shared savings model that rewards Atlantic ACO physicians for meeting certain quality and efficiency measures such as:

  • The percentage of Aetna members who receive recommended preventive care and screenings;
  • Better management of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart failure;
  • Reductions in avoidable hospital readmission rates; and
  • Reductions in unnecessary emergency room visits.

About Atlantic Accountable Care Organization

Touted as one of the "100 ACOs to Know" by Becker's Hospital Review, the Atlantic ACO was one of the first and largest in the country selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization, a multifaceted program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Atlantic ACO includes participation from more than 1,700 physicians, including more than 400 primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and ancillary care providers in six counties: Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Somerset, and Union. Through its participating physicians, hospitals, and staff, Atlantic ACO is committed to improving the quality of health care and reducing the individual and clinical health care costs for the population served in these regions. Atlantic ACO cares for more than 87,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. It includes Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ; Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ; Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ; Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ; and Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown, NJ, as well as Atlantic Rehabilitation, and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. It also includes its subsidiary, Atlantic Ambulance Corporation. Atlantic Health System comprises 1,599 licensed beds, over 13,400 employees and more than 3,700 physicians. Atlantic Health System is a clinical and academic affiliate of The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; a Major Clinical Affiliate of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; part of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, one of the largest ACOs in the nation, and is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an alliance of seven health care systems that have come together to improve the quality, affordability and access to health care by sharing clinical, intellectual and economic capabilities.

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

Aetna Media Contact:

Susan Millerick

Atlantic ACO Media Contact:

Maggie Goldberg