Newsroom | 07 April 2014

Holy Cross Physician Partners and Cigna Start Collaborative Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs in Broward and Palm Beach Counties


Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
Holy Cross/Pierson Grant Public Relations
Savannah Whaley, 954-776-1999 ext. 225

  • 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 care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers
  • Cigna's first collaborative care initiative in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 07, 2014 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Holy Cross Physician Partners have launched a collaborative care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the goal of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The program became effective April 1. This is Cigna's first collaborative care initiative in South Florida and its fourth in the state.

Cigna Collaborative Care is the company's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit nearly 5,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from approximately 300 Holy Cross Physician Partners primary care doctors and specialists.

"The entire Holy Cross clinical team is well known for the quality care it delivers every day that helps improve the lives of our patients," said Kenneth Homer, M.D., medical director. "By working collaboratively with Cigna and focusing on improved care coordination and preventive care, we hope to drive even higher quality of care, better health and an enhanced patient experience."

"This collaboration presents an excellent opportunity to help create a better health care delivery system," said Dr. Michael Howell, Cigna's senior medical director for Florida. "When we reward doctors for results and focus on prevention, wellness, health improvement and care coordination, we can create a system that works for everyone who uses, pays for or delivers health care."

Under the program, Holy Cross Physician Partners will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current Holy Cross Physician Partners physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a Holy Cross Physician Partners 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 benefits are the registered nurse clinical care coordinators, employed by Holy Cross Physician Partners, who will help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. The care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the medical group and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the individual.

The care coordinators will 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 care coordinators are part of the physician-led care team that will help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

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, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

Cigna will compensate Holy Cross Physician Partners for the medical and care coordination services it provides. Additionally, the physician group may be rewarded through a "pay for value" structure if it meets targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization movement since 2008 and now has 89 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups in 27 states, reaching nearly 910,000 commercial customers and encompassing more than 36,000 doctors, including more than 18,000 primary care physicians and more than 18,000 specialists. Cigna expects to achieve its goal to have one million customers getting care through 100 of these arrangements in 2014.

About Holy Cross Physician Partners

Holy Cross Physician Partners is a clinically integrated health care provider network that unites independent and employed physicians along with Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, in a program that drives improvements in efficiency as well as health outcomes. Today, hundreds of physicians in Broward and Palm Beach counties are part of Holy Cross Physician Partners and united in the premise that better quality, higher patient satisfaction, and lower overall health care spending comes from a deliberate, coordinated effort between partner physicians to share clinical information with one another. To learn more, visit

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 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