CLEVELAND & BLOOMFIELD, Conn., November 18, 2013 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) and University Hospitals Accountable Care Organization (UHACO) have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to enhance care coordination and achieve the "triple aim" of improved health, affordability and patient experience for Cigna customers.
Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals for its customers as UHACO has been achieving for University Hospitals' employees since it was launched in 2011. The program will benefit approximately 10,000 people covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from the 1,500 primary care physicians and specialists employed by University Hospitals (UH) in the Cleveland area.
"University Hospitals is pleased to join with Cigna in a collaborative way to better coordinate care for Cigna's customers and assist plans administered by Cigna in better managing the health of their employees," said Eric Bieber, MD, president of UH's accountable care organization and chief medical officer of UH.
University Hospitals is a national leader in accountable care with more than 160,000 self-insured, commercially insured, Medicare and Medicaid members and beneficiaries, making it one of the largest ACO providers in the country and one of the few providing coordinated care, disease management and case management services to all populations, from infants to senior citizens.
"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 of Cigna in Ohio. "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."
Patients will continue to be treated by their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program at no additional cost. Under the program, UHACO resources will monitor and coordinate care on behalf of UH physicians and their patients. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a UH doctor will also have access to the benefits of the program. There 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, heart disease and obesity.
Critical to the program's success are UHACO's registered nurses and medical assistants, who will serve as clinical care coordinators and assist patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges manage their care effectively and navigate the health care system. The UHACO care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between UHACO and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the individual.
The UHACO care coordinators enhance care by using patient-specific data from Cigna to help 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 UHACO care coordinators work closely with patients' UH physicians to use this data to help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications, and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening. UHACO care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical support programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, including tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.
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 has 75 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 26 states, encompassing more than 760,000 commercial customers and more than 30,000 doctors, including more than 14,000 primary care physicians and more than 16,500 specialists. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its goal is to have 100 of them in place with one million customers in 2014.
Collaborative accountable care is one component of the company's approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the innovative Cigna-HealthSpringSM care model for Medicare customers. Today, well over one million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring customers benefit from 240 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 58,000 doctors participating, including more than 20,000 primary care physicians and nearly 38,000 specialists.
About University Hospitals
University Hospitals, the second largest employer in Northeast Ohio, serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians in 16 counties. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center, one of only 18 hospitals in the country to have been named to U.S. News & World Report's most exclusive rankings list: the Best Hospitals 2013-14 Honor Roll. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, UH Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopaedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. UH Case Medical Center is the 2012 recipient of the American Hospital Association - McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for its leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org.
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 by or 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, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.