Aetna looks to healthcare IT for new revenue, cost-cutting

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Aetna, Inc., the third largest health insurer in the U.S., will be making a new strategic leap into health information technology, according to its president Mark Bertolini. And we’re not talking mundane enterprise spending on, say, storage — Aetna’s looking at IT spending as a means of saving money and even generating new revenue.

At Reuters Healthcare Summit, Bertolini, who is also set to assume the chief executive role at the insurer, pointed to the recent healthcare law as motivation for Aetna to look for new sources of revenue. In reference to Aetna’s plans, Bertolini said strategies “include a broad spectrum of healthcare capabilities and not just healthcare insurance.”

The new law will not only hit insurers’ profit margins, making cost cutting measures through technology solutions more attractive, but will also encourage insurers to explore new technologies by providing strong financial incentives to companies doing so.

In reference to healthcare technology, Bertolini said, “This industry is so far behind… we believe there is a lot of opportunity to catch up.” Bertolini also said about technology and cost cutting, “The big steps are going to be getting people to meaningfully use healthcare information technology so that we avoid a lot of redundancy and waste.”

Besides healthcare information technology, Bertolini also mentioned international markets as well as providing expanded Medicaid plans to low-income families as markets where Aetna will look for increasing revenue.

Go here for full coverage of Reuters Healthcare Summit.

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