This was announced back in April and was covered by the WSJ Health Blog, but I am just now getting around to it, as its effective date is January 1. The deal is that Bank of America hired Aetna to manage all of its employee benefits for 200,000 staff members nationwide. Of course, it covered the administration of the health care insurance function, but it also includes a concierge service for health coaching, on-line risk assessments, and integrated data management to monitor trends and deliver better preventative and chronic care.
But check this out, "Besides the white-glove service, Aetna has pledged to meet targets for paying claims accurately and controlling medical costs. Otherwise, the insurer will have to pay penalties to Bank of America."
I don't know if any other businesses have since signed up with Aetna. And I don't know if other insurers offer similar services or have secured deals with other large employers; but if I were running a smaller insurance company in a region characterized by nationally based employers, I would be nervous.
And an open question for Aetna and Bank of America, do you monitor the actual quality and safety of care delivered by providers in each city to help steer employees to the ones with better documented results?