BLOOMFIELD, Conn., March 01, 2012 - Global health services company Cigna (NYSE:CI) today launched a next generation online service that provides accurate prices for more than 200 common medical procedures and quality information on doctors and hospitals to its health plan customers nationwide.
Effective today, Cigna's customer website, myCigna.com, now features physician and health facility quality and pricing information that's personalized to an individual's health plan in the newly redesigned "Find Doctors and Services" search engine. The new price estimates cover more than 200 common procedures - from delivering babies to knee replacement surgery - that represent 80 percent of Cigna's medical claims. For a tour, click here.
This new feature allows Cigna's customers to assess medical costs - including specialist, facility and related fees - according to the real-time status of their health plan deductibles and co-insurance, as well as their available health spending account funds, before choosing their physician.
A Cigna customer can even compare a physician's costs for performing a procedure at different hospitals. Services performed at various facilities can vary significantly both in terms of quality and price.
"We want to help our customers get the most out of every health care dollar," said Jim Nastri, Cigna's vice president for cost and quality transparency. "Until now, finding the best and most cost efficient health care professionals has been largely hit or miss. With our new 'Find Doctors and Services' search engine, this information is integrated into every search for a doctor or service, so our customers are better informed consumers."
Rather than using broad cost ranges or averages, Cigna's estimates are based on actual claims payments. The estimates are backed by more than five years of testing and research using Cigna's Cost of Care Estimator, which has delivered about 500,000 estimates annually to Cigna patients by their health care professional at an accuracy rate of within 10 percent of the patient's cost 90 percent of the time. By synchronizing the cost information now provided on myCigna with the Estimator tool, the individual can now see the same information health care professionals see prior to an office or hospital visit.
According to Nastri, "What's really groundbreaking is health care consumers can now shop for care in the same way that it's delivered. For example, you can look up a knee arthroscopy by doctor and get a precise estimate for what you will pay to get care through that doctor -- that includes not just the doctor's fee, but also related services such as diagnostics and anesthesia, as well as hospital or facility costs."
"Being able to see all this information when choosing a doctor is critically important, because once that decision is made, the choice of where to go to have the procedure done has already been made for you," Nastri said.
Other significant improvements include simplified, natural language or intuitive search capabilities, so that people can search for a health care professional in terms that make sense to them. For example, customers can search for a dermatologist by typing in the word "skin doctor." Online maps are also integrated into searches, and specialists who are designated as part of Cigna Care Network® for quality and cost efficiency are noted with different pin colors on these maps.
Looking ahead, the new quality and pricing capabilities will also be available on web-enabled mobile devices and as part of Cigna's upcoming release of smart phone applications.
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 www.cigna.com.