Newsroom | 18 November 2014

Primary Partners LLC and Cigna Start Collaborative Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs

Contact(s):

Media Contacts:
Cigna
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
mark.slitt@cigna.com
or
Primary Partners LLC
Alexisandria Torres, 352-394-5219
information@primarypartners.org

  • Customers 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 managers aligned with Cigna case managers
  • Cigna's fifth collaborative care arrangement in Florida, second in Orlando area

CLERMONT, Fla., November 18, 2014 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Primary Partners LLC, a physician owned and managed accountable care organization, 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.

Cigna Collaborative Care is the company's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program, which became effective October 1, will benefit more than 8,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from more than 35 Primary Partners' primary care doctors. This is Cigna's fifth collaborative care arrangement in Florida and its second in the Orlando area.

In places where it's been introduced, Cigna Collaborative Care is helping to improve the health of Cigna customers while effectively managing medical costs. The programs are helping to close gaps in care, such as missed health screenings or prescription refills, reinforcing the appropriate use of hospital emergency rooms, increasing the number of preventive health visits and improving follow-up care for people transitioning from the hospital to home.

"Our collaboration with Cigna is another step in our commitment to ensure all patients receive the highest quality of care every day," said Sheila Fusé, CEO of Primary Partners LLC. "By focusing on improved care and care coordination, we can improve health outcomes, especially for those with medically complex conditions or chronic illnesses, and enhance patient experience."

"We share a common commitment with Primary Partners to improve health care quality and focus on a health care delivery system that is centered on quality of care and value rather than volume," said Michael Howell, M.D., Cigna's senior medical director for Florida. "Our collaboration will help deliver high-value health care and lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs, which benefits individuals, families, employers and doctors."

Under the program, physicians who are members of Primary Partners LLC will provide oversight for patients who are under medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current 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 Primary Partners LLC 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 Primary Partner LLC, 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 managers 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 managers are part of the physician-led care team that will help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need.

Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical support programs that may be available as part of their plan, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs for quitting smoking or managing weight or stress.

Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization movement since 2008 and now has 105 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups and systems that span 27 states, reach more than 1.1 million commercial customers and encompass more than 41,000 doctors, including more than 20,000 primary care physicians and more than 20,000 specialists.

Cigna Collaborative Care is one component of the company's approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the innovative Cigna-HealthSpring® care model for Medicare customers. Today, more than 1.3 million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring customers benefit from 265 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 66,000 doctors participating, including more than 25,000 primary care physicians and more than 41,000 specialists.

About Primary Partners LLC

Primary Partners LLC was one of the first Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the country. The organization is physician owned, led and managed with over 60 providers in four counties in Central Florida. Its vision is to exemplify quality care models, while allowing physicians to maintain independent practices and to provide a voice for patients and independent physicians. Primary Partners offers innovative and enhanced communication methods to enhance care coordination between physicians, specialists, hospitals and all providers that center on the patient and healthcare needs of our population. To learn more about Primary Partners, visit www.primarypartners.org.

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 85 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.