Pondering the previous post on Aetna’s announcement today regarding SmartSource, have come up with the following business arguments as to why Aetna is aggressively pursuing a consumer health engagement path.
1) Bring more value to the consumer/customer to get them to actually use their PHR. This is arguably the top reason as they have invested quite a bit in the PHR and my guess is that they are still struggling to gain traction among those 16.8M lives covered.
2) Aetna wants to be perceived in the market, particularly among investors, that they are out in front of their competitors in pushing/encouraging consumer engagement in their health with the perceived (and hoped for) benefit being lower medical loss ratios (MLRs) leading to better margins.
3) Changing perception also extends to their big customers, employers. Aetna can point to announcements such as this to make a compelling argument to employer benefit managers that Aetna is taking proactive steps to help them control their healthcare coverage costs as well.