Hartford managed care provider Aetna Inc.'s philanthropic arm is dispensing $250,000 each to four U.S. hospitals and medical schools to underwrite their R&D into improving future delivery of health care to children, the needy and the chronically diseased.
Aetna Foundation Inc. said the $1 million grant will be split between Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital; Houston's Baylor College of Medicine; the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and the University of Florida.
Each is studying the feasibility and merits of providing integrated health care in patient-centered medical homes.
Foundation President Dr. Anne C. Beal says that while providers know the benefits of well-integrated and well-coordinated care, such as better patient experiences, lower costs and fewer medical errors, there are shortcomings in the current model.
"We do not fully understand,'' Beal said in a statement Wednesday announcing the grant, "the links between good coordination and good outcomes nor have we identified the best pathways to achieving strong care coordination.''
The medical centers' research will fill that knowledge gap, she said.
The four research grants are: