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Aetna Completes Behavioral%2C Pharmacy Moves

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Aetna Inc. is ending 2005 by insourcing 2 major specialty health operations.[@@]

Aetna, Hartford, has completed acquiring a big behavioral health operation from Magellan Health Services Inc., Farmington, Conn.

Aetna also has completed a transaction that gives it 100% ownership of a specialty pharmacy joint venture that was launched in 2004. Aetna bought a 60% stake in the venture from a company that is now a unit of Express Scripts Inc., St. Louis, a large pharmacy benefits manager.

Aetna says it will start a full-service behavioral health business Jan. 1, 2006. The business will have about 11 million plan members, Aetna says.

The Magellan assets purchased include a national provider network and service centers in California, Pennsylvania and Utah. The service centers employ about 500 people, Aetna says.

Aetna notes that it started an employee assistance program of its own in June 2004 that now has about 1 million members.

The specialty pharmacy deal will give Aetna control of a 63,000-square-foot facility in Orlando, Fla., that provides medications for Aetna members with chronic conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis.


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