HACKENSACK, N.J., May 05, 2015 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Regional Cancer Care Associates LLC (RCCA) have started a program that aims to improve care for people receiving chemotherapy to treat any type of cancer.
The program is an extension of Cigna Collaborative Care, a value-based initiative that uses incentives to engage health care professionals and help drive improved health, affordability and patient experience. Cigna Collaborative Care initially focused on large primary care physician groups but was expanded to include hospitals, small primary care practices and specialists, including oncologists.
The arrangement encourages RCCA to follow evidence-based medicine guidelines for cancer care and to use COTA, Inc., an industry-leading oncology analytics company that tracks the quality of care and associated costs. In addition, the practice will expand access to daily acute care with same day appointment availability, after-hours access and after-hours clinical advice, including 24/7 access to clinical triage staff.
RCCA will designate a registered nurse or an advanced care practitioner as the group's oncology care coordinator who will assist patients and ensure their care is properly coordinated.
Cigna will compensate the medical group with a one-time care management payment for each of its patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. This incentive reimburses the group for its additional oversight and management of patient care.
Cigna will also provide a single point of contact - a collaborative care associate - who will assist the medical practice's oncology care coordinator with information about a Cigna customer's benefits. Cigna will also provide oncology case management services for customers and their families who might need additional education or coordination of resources outside of the oncology practice.
Cigna plans to launch a similar program soon with an oncology practice in Florida, and expects to have up to eight of these arrangements in place by the end of 2015.
"We've seen great results from our collaborative care arrangements with large physician groups," said Ronald Menzin, M.D., senior medical director for Cigna in New Jersey. "Now we're applying that successful model - which includes a care coordinator employed by the medical practice, and incentives that compensate physicians for the value of the care they deliver - to drive similar improvements in quality and cost of oncology care."
"The need to bring value to the health care system by avoiding under and over utilization is essential to optimize patient outcomes and reduce overall cost of care," said Andrew Pecora, M.D., president of Regional Cancer Care Associates. "Establishing this relationship with Cigna, and using new technologies like COTA that precisely measure variance in clinical and cost outcomes, will improve cancer care so that we can deliver better quality of life and a better experience for our patients each time they interact with our clinical team."
The care coordination component of Cigna Collaborative Care for oncology consists of six components, with RCCA managing the treatment and Cigna providing extra support and information to help:
- Informed decision making regarding treatment, which helps patients and care givers understand when therapy is or isn't curative; provides treatment options and information about toxicity, cost and effectiveness of treatment; initiates conversations with patients and families about functional status, advanced care, end of life wishes; and facilitates access to palliative and/or hospice care when appropriate.
- Holistic evaluation of the symptoms and quality of life at each encounter.
- Proactive care coordination, which includes inpatient management and discharge planning for all admissions; care planning and post therapy outreach to ensure individuals have access to prescriptions, understand side effects and know when and who to call if there are changes in health status; patient education and help with future appointments.
- Hospice care coordination, which assists patients and families with end of life planning and palliative care services.
- Access and referral coordination, where the oncologist and the collaborative care coordinator are the primary contact for the patient while in treatment, with 24x7 access to a practice affiliated clinician, and proactive communication with the individual's primary care physician and other health care providers.
- Transition of care back to the primary care physician by providing the patient and the primary care physician with a discharge summary and discharge plan which includes diagnosis, summary of clinical status, list of medications and recommendations for ongoing observation.
About Regional Cancer Care Associates
Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), one of the largest oncology physician networks in the U.S., is transforming oncology care by ensuring patients and their caregivers are an active part of the treatment team in all aspects of the management of their disease in a way that is life-enriching and respectful. RCCA extends across New Jersey with more than 100 cancer care specialists and is supported by 700 employees at 25 care delivery sites, providing care to more than 23,000 new patients annually and over 240,000 existing patients. RCCA takes responsibility to ensure access to the highest quality, compassionate and cutting-edge cancer care for its patients while controlling the cost of this care. For more information visit: http://www.regionalcancercare.org.
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 www.cigna.com.