Newsroom | 04 May 2015

Cigna Collaborative Care Arrangements with OB/GYN Practices in Florida and Texas Show Early Success


Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092

  • Value-based initiative uses incentives to engage OB/GYN doctors and help drive improved health, affordability and experience
  • Aims to reduce primary cesarean deliveries and early deliveries for non-medical reasons, increase use of generic drugs
  • Focus includes identification and referral of at-risk pregnant women, maternal mental health

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., May 04, 2015 - Early results from OB/GYN medical practices in Florida and Texas that participate in Cigna (NYSE: CI) Collaborative Care initiatives show that they're improving quality and lowering medical costs.

Cigna Collaborative Care is a value-based initiative that uses incentives to engage health care professionals and help drive improved health, affordability and patient experience. It initially focused on large primary care physician groups but was expanded to include hospitals, small primary care practices and specialists, including OB/GYN practices.

Through collaboration between medical practices and Cigna, the OB/GYN program aims to reduce primary cesarean deliveries and inductions of labor prior to 39 weeks gestation for non-medical reasons, increase the use of generic drugs, and shift certain gynecologic surgical procedures to less-costly sites of service. The program also focuses on the identification and referral of at-risk pregnant women, safety certification for office-based procedures and maternal mental health screening.

The OB/GYN practices participating in the program are compensated with a patient care management payment that rewards them for meeting a comprehensive set of quality and cost efficiency targets. The payment varies based on how well the group performs. The expectation is that OB/GYN practices that meet their targets will have better quality scores and better cost efficiency than other OB/GYN practices in their markets.

After its first year participating in the program, Women's Care Florida, with offices in Tampa and Orlando, showed significant results:

  • 15.2 percent improvement in its primary cesarean delivery rate
  • 6.4 percent improvement in generic dispensing rate
  • 3.7 percent rate for early elective deliveries, better than national rate of five percent

"We are pleased to participate in this collaboration with Cigna," said Donald F. Wilson, M.D., chief medical officer for Women's Care Florida. "Properly aligned incentives help us focus on what is needed to fulfill our mission, ‘Exceptional Women's Care for Every Patient, Every Time'. We value meaningful partnership with health plans as we all seek to deliver high quality care in the most efficient manner possible."

After its first year participating in the program, Southwest Women's Health Alliance (formerly Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates) in Houston also showed significant results:

  • Improved total medical cost performance by three percent
  • 7.6 percent improvement in generic dispensing rate
  • 93 percent overall satisfaction in patient satisfaction survey
  • 9.5 percent improvement in site of service rate for outpatient procedures, through safe and efficient shifting of site of service for select gynecologic surgical procedures, which lowered costs while maintaining quality

"I am proud of the commitment our doctors made in this pilot project to make women's health care in Houston better," said Mark Cone, M.D., president of Southwest Women's Health Alliance. "We sought to improve patient satisfaction scores, implement new patient safety programs, improve the quality of our care by following evidence-based medicine and lead our market in quality metrics. Furthermore, we proved we could accomplish that and bend the total medical cost curve. I appreciate Cigna's dedication to bringing these types of programs to the market. Joint efforts between providers and payers like this demonstrate the type of collaborative efforts we will need to fix the health care delivery system."

"The Cigna Collaborative Care model demonstrated our ability to help large primary care physician groups improve the quality and cost of care," said John Keats, M.D., a Cigna senior medical director and practicing OB/GYN specialist. "These two medical practices are pioneers that are helping us adapt that model to OB/GYN specialty care. We're very pleased with their early successes and look forward to further collaboration that will help this model evolve."

Cigna has pilot programs with four other OB/GYN groups and expects to launch up to six more in 2015. Once those programs have been in place for a full year, Cigna will evaluate the results and determine how to convert them from "test and learn" pilot programs to a standard reimbursement model for specialty care.

When the company started Cigna Collaborative Care for large primary care physician groups in 2008, the program consisted of one pilot that expanded to several more pilots within a few years. "We learned from those early efforts and used that knowledge to build a very successful program that now encompasses more than 120 physician practices in 29 states. We hope to have similar success with OB/GYN groups and other specialty medical practices," Keats said.

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 more than 86 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

About Women's Care Florida

Women's Care Florida, LLC, (WCF) is a single specialty women's health physician group offering patient care services in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology, Urogynecology, Gynecologic Pathology, Breast Surgery and Genetic Counseling. The group has 200 providers that care for more than 350,000 patients annually at 58 outpatient locations, including a women's services laboratory and a breast center.

About Southwest Women's Health Alliance

Southwest Women's Health Alliance is a private practice OB/GYN group in the Greater Houston Area. Originally Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates, founded in 1962, we have recently reorganized to better meet our goals of becoming the industry leader in developing models of health care delivery that are more affordable and more accessible. Our vision is to provide the best patient care with a focus on four pillars: 1) a better patient experience; 2) delivering the highest quality evidence-based medical care; 3) ensuring the highest patient safety standards; and 4) always looking for opportunities to make the care more affordable for the patient and the employer. We have 52 providers located at 22 different office and ancillary facilities