HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Health insurer Aetna Inc. plans to give some primary care doctors an extra monthly payment to help them manage care better under a concept that aims to improve patient health and cut down on expensive hospital stays or emergency room visits.

The Hartford, Conn., company said Monday it will pay doctors in practices that qualify as patient-centered medical homes an extra $2 to $3 per member per month. The practices must be recognized as medical homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Doctors in patient-centered medical homes try to care more for all of a patient's health needs instead of just treating whatever condition led to a doctor's visit that day. They frequently communicate with patients between visits and often do things like work out exercise plans with the patient or follow-up to make sure they are complying with prescriptions. The primary care doctor also acts as the central point of communication between specialists, nutritionists and others.

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