Newsroom | 09 April 2012

Cigna and Bon Secours Medical Group Bring Accountable Care to Greater Richmond

Bon Secours Virginia
Melissa Jones
  • Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
  • Primary care doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and lowering medical costs
  • Program includes registered nurse clinical care coordinators
BLOOMFIELD , Conn., and RICHMOND, Va. - April 9, 2012 - Cigna (NYSE:CI) and the Bon Secours Medical Group, the physician practice group of Bon Secours Virginia Health System, have launched an accountable care initiativeto expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the "triple aim" of improving health outcomes, lowering medical costs and increasing patient satisfaction. Known as collaborative accountable care, the program is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.
Cigna's collaborative accountable care is a variation on the patient-centered medical home model of health care that rewards primary care doctors for improved outcomes and lower medical costs. It will benefit approximately 8,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from among more than 95 Bon Secours primary care physicians at more than 30 Richmond area locations.
Cigna's collaboration with Bon Secours is thought to be the first patient-centered accountable care program to operate in the Richmond area. Under the arrangement, individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and choose to receive care from a Bon Secours primary care physician will have access to the benefits of the program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a Bon Secours primary care physician will also have access to the benefits of the program.
"Accountable care is a complicated part of the national health care reform model. Successful programs must be innovative and goal oriented," said Peter J. Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. "We are pleased to be joining our friends at Cigna as we make an effort to get ahead of the curve when it comes to accountability at all levels of the health care spectrum. We bring together the necessary components of a strong and successful ACO."
"Our goal is always the best outcome for our patients as well as affordable costs and enhanced patient experience," said Thomas Auer, M.D., CEO Bon Secours Medical Group of Bon Secours Virginia Health System. "This collaboration with Cigna will broaden the reach and help us focus patients and the community on preventive care and the successful management of chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease as major components for a healthier community."
For its role in the collaboration, Bon Secours Medical Group will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current physician and will receive program benefits at no additional cost. There also are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Critical to the program's benefits are clinical care coordinators - all registered nurses, employed by Bon Secours, who will help patients navigate the health care system. The care coordinators will enhance care by using patient-specific data, provided by Cigna, to identify patients being discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, as well as patients who may be overdue for important health screenings or who may have skipped a prescription refill. The care coordinators will work with the patient's physicians to help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need and identify any issues related to medications. The care coordinators will also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and, when appropriate, refer patients to Cigna's clinical programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.
"We need a patient-centered health care system that emphasizes prevention and primary care and rewards physicians for quality of care and improved health outcomes," said Julia Huggins, president, Cigna Mid-Atlantic. "A system that's focused on value rather than volume will ultimately lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families, employers and doctors."
As part of the agreement, Cigna will compensate Bon Secours physicians for the medical services they provide as well as for the care coordination services. Additionally, the practice may be rewarded through a "pay for performance" structure if it meets targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.
"Employers bear a large portion of the nation's health care costs, so they welcome programs that aim to lower medical costs through improved health," said John Miller, executive director of the MidAtlantic Business Group on Health. "Cigna's patient-centered collaboration with Bon Secours Medical Group is an excellent example of how health plans and physicians can work together to achieve a healthy, productive work force and create a health care system that works for all of us."
The principles of the patient-centered medical home are the foundation of Cigna's collaborative accountable care initiatives. Cigna then builds on that foundation with a strong focus on collaboration and communication with physician practices. Cigna is now engaged in 28 patient-centered initiatives in 17 states, including six multi-payer pilots and 22 Cigna-only collaborative accountable care initiatives. The collaborative accountable care initiatives encompass more than 270,000 Cigna customers and more than 4,000 physicians. Cigna has been a member of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative since October 2007.
About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit
About Bon Secours Virginia Health System
Bon Secours Virginia provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs about 11,000 people, including nearly 300 physicians as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group. The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia offers a full range of services including cardiac, women's, children's, orthopedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery at seven award-winning hospitals. Bon Secours Richmond is St. Mary's Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. Bon Secours Hampton Roads is Maryview Medical Center, DePaul Medical Center and Mary Immaculate Hospital.