Thanks in large part to health information technology, small businesses in Arizona’s Maricopa and Pinal counties are about to be pitched on an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) insurance plan called Aetna Whole Health, a collaborative effort by Aetna and Banner Health Network. Experts say that the ACO model of care shifts the focus of payment from a fee-for-service model to a focus on tying payments to quality metrics and decreased costs of patient care.

This agreement is Aetna’s second such collaboration on an ACO initiative, the first being a similar arrangement with Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Va. The Carilion Clinic became the first health-delivery organization to collaborate on this type of ACO-designed health insurance initiative.

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