Aetna Foundation Awards $325,000 in Grants to Train Doctors for 21st-Century Health Care

Tue Mar 5, 2013 4:26pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

-- Funding for Institute of Medicine to help improve residency programs; launch
"hotspotting" fellowships from Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers --
HARTFORD, Conn.--(Business Wire)--
As part of its work to improve health care in the United States, the Aetna
Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $325,000 to help doctors adapt to a
rapidly changing health care system and growing health care needs. 

The funding focuses on training young doctors for the post-reform health care
landscape, which aims to improve the patient experience and population health
and to lower health care costs. 

"Doctors need to be part of the solution to meet the health care needs of
different populations and rising rates of complex, chronic diseases," said
Gillian Barclay, D.D.S., Dr.PH., vice president of the Aetna Foundation`s
national grant making. "That means we need bold new approaches to doctors`
training to create a modern, high-performing health care system that can provide
high-quality care for everyone in the U.S." 

The Aetna Foundation has contributed $150,000 to the Institute of Medicine of
the National Academies (IOM) to support its study of today`s medical residency
programs, or the graduate medical education system (GME). 

The IOM study is looking at the governance and financing of GME in the U.S. The
final report will recommend changes to medical residency programs to better
prepare young doctors for 21st-century health care systems, which all
increasingly focus on patient-centered primary care, team medicine and health
information technology. The study also is looking at ways to encourage more
doctors to specialize in primary care to meet the demands of an aging and ever
more diverse U.S. population. 

To conduct the study, IOM has appointed a 21-member committee with expertise in
health care systems, health economics, health professions education, and
financing and accreditation. The committee`s final report is expected in early

The Aetna Foundation also has awarded $175,000 to the Camden Coalition of
Healthcare Providers in New Jersey to establish a new fellowship program to
train primary care doctors in "hotspotting," a technique borrowed from
advancements in city policing. 

In medicine, hotspotting analyzes hospital readmissions, emergency room visits
and other data to identify patients who use health care resources at abnormally
high rates. The fellows will learn how to use sophisticated data analysis,
coordinated care management and interdisciplinary teamwork to improve care for
these "superutilizers," people who typically have complex, chronic health
conditions, lack a primary care doctor and by default wind up back at the
emergency department again and again. The fellows will work with high-need,
high-cost patients in Camden, one of the poorest and most crime-ridden cities in
the country, where many residents rely on safety-net hospitals for all their
health care. 

The Aetna Foundation funding will support four, two-year fellowships. The Camden
Coalition fellowship program is led by Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., who was catapulted
to national attention in 2011 by a New Yorker profile on his new approach to
health care in poor, urban areas. Partners in the fellowship program include the
Family Medicine Residency at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Chester, Pa., and
Cooper University Hospital in Camden. 

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm
of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation have
contributed $412 million in grants and sponsorships, including $18 million in
2011. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access
to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and
commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered more than 2.6 million hours
since 2003. Aetna`s current giving is focused on addressing the rising rate of
adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in
health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. For more
information, visit

Aetna Foundation Media Contact:
Marnie Goodman, 860-273-2314

Copyright Business Wire 2013