Newsroom | 05 May 2015

Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners and Cigna Work Together on Collaborative Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs


Media Contacts:
Michelle Vroom, 267-606-5822
Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners
Christopher King, 630-933-5117

  • Customers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
  • Doctors are rewarded for improving customer health and lowering medical costs
  • Program includes registered nurse care managers aligned with Cigna case managers

CHICAGO, May 05, 2015 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners (NMPP), formerly known as Cadence Medical Partners, have launched a collaborative care initiative to improve access to health care, enhance care coordination and achieve the goal of improved health, affordability and customer experience.

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 over 5,600 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from more than 550 NMPP primary care doctors and specialists. Cigna now has four collaborative care arrangements in Chicago metro and 122 of them nationwide.

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.

"Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners is committed to building healthier communities by integrating technology with care coordination and this new collaboration with Cigna helps further our mission," said Marty Manning, president of Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners. "The valuable insights and data Cigna provides will help us maintain the quality standards we strive for while keeping costs affordable."

"As the health care industry continues to evolve, it's important we provide innovative solutions that improve quality of care while saving our customers money. Working together with health care professionals like Northwestern Medicine Physician Partners is one of the ways we accomplish that goal," said Peter W. McCauley Sr., M.D., regional medical executive for Cigna's Northeast region, which includes the Midwest. "By rewarding physicians for value, rather than volume of services, we aim to create a system focused on prevention and wellness, which will ultimately lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs."

Under the program, NMPP will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. People will continue to go to their current NMPP 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 an NMPP physician will also have access to the benefits of the program. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. Individuals 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 NMPP, who will help individuals 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 enhance care by using data from Cigna to help identify individuals being discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, as well as those 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 people get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications and better manage chronic conditions.

Care coordinators can also help people schedule appointments, provide health education and refer individuals 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 NMPP 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 122 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups that span 29 states, reach more than 1.3 million commercial customers and encompass more than 50,000 doctors, including more than 24,000 primary care physicians and more than 27,000 specialists.

About Northwestern Medicine®

Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching, and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise a combined workforce of more than 25,000 among clinical and administrative staff, medical and science faculty and medical students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is also used by Northwestern University.

About Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC) is an academic health system whose entities operate as Northwestern Medicine®. NMHC consists of over 60 ambulatory sites throughout Chicago, including four hospitals; Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva and its flagship Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which is rated No. 1 in Chicago and Illinois, as well as 10th in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report 2014-2015 Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals; and more than 4,000 aligned physicians.

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