Aetna Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Medicity Inc., a health information exchange technology company, for about $500 million.

Medicity, Salt Lake City, Utah provides an array of products and services to health systems, hospitals, physician practices and health information exchanges to help them gain access to and share health care data securely.

Medicity’s health information exchange technology reaches more than 760 hospitals, 125,000 physician users and 250,000 end users.

Aetna (NYSE:AET), Hartford, says it expects to finance the acquisition with available resources. It projects the deal would be neutral to its financial results in 2011.

“Strategically, we believe this acquisition will enhance Aetna’s capabilities and accelerate our growth in the health information technology and health information exchange space,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna CEO and president.

Medicity will operate as a separate business within Aetna under its existing leadership structure, according to the announcement of the deal.

-Trevor Thomas