Tenet, Aetna sign contract to expand healthcare services

Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:06pm EST

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(Reuters) - Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC.N) on Monday said it signed a two-year agreement with insurer Aetna Inc (AET.N) to provide healthcare services to Aetna members at Tenet's hospitals and outpatient centers.

The agreement, which went into effect on January 1, expands the relationship between the companies to include all of Tenet's facilities and also implements accountable care organization (ACO) arrangements in Texas and Arizona.

The ACO healthcare delivery model, encouraged under the Affordable Care Act, aims to improve the quality of healthcare while slowing spending growth. ACO participants agree to cost and quality targets, such as lowering hospital readmission rates and reducing patients' blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and then share savings tied to meeting those goals.

Dallas-based Tenet, the third-largest U.S. for-profit hospital chain with 77 hospitals and 186 outpatient centers, has been one of the first among its peers in the for-profit sector to experiment with the ACO approach.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Diane Craft)

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