Newsroom | 02 December 2014

Cigna-HealthSpring and St. Joseph Medical Center Announce Expanded Agreement for Houston Area Medicare Advantage Customers


Graham Harrison, 615-294-4669
St. Joseph Medical Center
Annette Garber, 713-756-8236

  • Innovative agreement better aligns incentives with quality care and outcomes to deliver improved customer experience and maintain affordability
  • Allows for more collaborative treatment approach between Cigna-HealthSpring and St. Joseph doctors and facilities, including both inpatient and outpatient services
  • Adds more Cigna-HealthSpring population health, medical management and other clinical and administrative resources
  • Customers may choose St. Joseph doctors during current Annual Enrollment Period

HOUSTON, December 02, 2014 - Cigna-HealthSpring and St. Joseph Medical Center (SJMC), a facility of IASIS Healthcare, have taken health care innovation to new heights with a new and expanded agreement that focuses on transparent collaboration and aligned incentives between the hospital, doctor and health plan to better serve patients with affordable and high quality, coordinated care. The agreement, which became effective November 1, expands quality incentives and other clinical aims to encompass SJMC services similar to primary care and specialist doctors whose incentives are already aligned to quality outcomes.

"Our expanded relationship with St. Joseph, while innovative and uncommon in traditional health care settings, seemed like a natural next step in our relationship. With this expanded agreement adding more clinical resources and aligned incentives among health care stakeholders, I'm confident that together we can deliver improved and affordable health care to our Houston customers," said Jay Hurt, president and general manager for Cigna-HealthSpring's Texas market. "Our proven approach to collaborating with health care professionals establishes a seamless continuum of care and invests in the right resources that yield improved patient outcomes, lower costs and a better experience for all parties involved."

Renaissance Physician Organization (RPO), a city-wide independent physician organization which has been collaborating with Cigna-HealthSpring for Medicare Advantage for more than a decade to pioneer the shift in the Houston health care environment from volume to value-based care, also plays an important part in the expanded relationship. RPO includes a majority of SJMC's independent doctors who have been serving Cigna-HealthSpring customers since 2006 and are highly engaged in the quality care alignment that Cigna-HealthSpring and RPO have championed.

The agreement allows Cigna-HealthSpring customers enhanced in-network access to SJMC doctors and services, which is the first and only downtown Houston hospital and has been serving the community for 125 years. The agreement also extends to SJMC's new Heights location.

"With a vast array of services and a highly integrated model, the collaboration of St. Joseph Medical Center, Renaissance Physician Organization and Cigna-HealthSpring is an ideal partnership, working together to create a better health care experience for our patients," said Mark Bernard, CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center and St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights.

"In the ever evolving health care environment, it is essential that we continue to innovate. Renaissance Physician Organization is excited to be working with Cigna-HealthSpring and St. Joseph Medical Center as we build a more effective, sustainable health care delivery system," said John Bertini, MD FACS, chairman of Renaissance Physician Organization.

Cigna-HealthSpring has long been committed to the Houston community and is one of the largest Medicare Advantage plans, serving approximately 50,000 customers in the Greater Houston area. Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Cigna-HealthSpring 2015 plans during the annual enrollment period, which began October 15 and ends December 7. Plan details and more are available at

About St. Joseph Medical Center

St. Joseph Medical Center (SJMC), part of IASIS Healthcare, is a full service, general acute care hospital with two locations in downtown Houston and in the Heights. Celebrated as Houston's first and only downtown hospital, the SJMC main campus has been providing a wide range of services to Greater Houston area residents for over 125 years. Services include a 24-hour Level III Emergency Center, behavioral medicine, cardiovascular surgery, cancer care, rehab and sports medicine, women's services and more. For information about SJMC's programs and services, visit or call 713.757.1000.

About Cigna-HealthSpring

Cigna-HealthSpring, a Cigna company (NYSE:CI), is one of the country's leading health plans focused on delivering care to the senior population, predominately through Medicare Advantage and other Medicare and Medicaid products. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Cigna-HealthSpring offers a national stand-alone prescription drug plan and operates health plans in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. This information is available for free in other languages. Please call our Customer Service number at 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711), 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. Cigna-HealthSpring is contracted with Medicare for PDP plans, HMO and PPO plans in select states, and with select State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in Cigna-HealthSpring depends on contract renewal.