Newsroom | 25 August 2016

Cigna Collaborates With Doctors to Improve Care for People Fighting Cancer


Cigna Corporation
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092

  • Value-based model uses incentives to engage physicians in care coordination
  • Helps drive improved health, affordability and experience
  • Close collaboration between oncology care coordinators and Cigna's collaborative care associates
  • Advances Cigna's commitment to have 50 percent of payments in alternative payment models and 90 percent in value-based arrangements by 2018

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 25 August, 2016 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) continues to expand Cigna Collaborative Care, its value-based physician engagement and reimbursement model that uses incentives to help drive improved health, affordability and patient experience. The company has more than 220 of these arrangements nationally, mainly with primary care doctors, but also with specialists in the fields of obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, general surgery and cancer care.

Three medical practices have recently joined the cancer care initiative:

These arrangements support the medical practices’ commitment to follow evidence-based medicine guidelines for cancer care, as well as their efforts to expand access to daily acute care with same day appointment availability, after-hours care and after-hours clinical advice, including 24/7 access to clinical triage staff.

The three groups have each designated an oncology care coordinator to assist patients and ensure their care is properly coordinated.

Cigna provides each group with a single point of contact – a collaborative care associate – to assist the practices’ oncology care coordinators with information about their patients’ Cigna medical benefits. Additionally, Cigna offers oncology case management services for customers and their families who might need additional education or help coordinating resources outside of the oncology practice.

“We’ve had much success with our collaborative care arrangements for large primary care physician groups,” said Bhuvana Sagar, M.D., the Cigna medical director who provides clinical oversight for the company’s oncology collaborative care arrangements. “Now we’re applying that successful model – which includes a care coordinator employed by the medical practices, and incentives that compensate physicians for the value of the care they deliver – to drive similar improvements in quality and cost of cancer treatment.”

The care coordination component of Cigna Collaborative Care for cancer treatment consists of multiple components, with the medical practices managing the treatment and Cigna providing extra support and information to help:

  • Comprehensive and collaborative education to enable patients and caregivers to make informed decisions regarding treatment options
  • Routine symptom, disease status and functional assessments
  • Proactive care coordination, which includes inpatient management and assistance with discharge planning for all hospital admissions, as well as care planning and post therapy outreach
  • Hospice care coordination, which assists patients and families with advanced care planning and palliative care services
  • Access and referral coordination, during which the oncologist and the oncology care coordinator are the primary contacts for the patient while in treatment, with 24/7 access to a practice affiliated clinician

Cigna Collaborative Care for cancer treatment is part of the company’s commitment to have 50 percent of payments in alternative payment models and 90 percent of payments in value-based arrangements by 2018. Other specialty initiatives include episodes-of-care arrangements for maternity care, hip and knee surgery, gall bladder surgery and colonoscopy, as well as pay-for-performance maternity care arrangements. Cigna also plans to launch episodes-of-care programs for cancer care and heart surgery.

Value-based arrangements come in a variety of forms that reward physicians for the quality and the value of the care they provide. In a pay-for-performance model, physicians are compensated for achieving specific quality and cost targets. In an episodes-of-care arrangement, they are compensated for all of the care they provide related to a specific procedure – for example, a hip replacement – including a defined time prior to the procedure, the procedure itself, recovery and follow-up care for a defined time after the surgery.

Cigna also has value-based collaborative arrangements with 96 hospital systems comprising more than 360 hospitals.

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

About Cedars-Sinai

Cedars-Sinai is a leader in providing high-quality healthcare encompassing primary care, specialized medicine and research. Since 1902, Cedars-Sinai has evolved to meet the needs of one of the most diverse regions in the nation, setting standards in quality and innovative patient care, research, teaching and community service. Today, Cedars-Sinai is known for its national leadership in transforming healthcare for the benefit of patients. Cedars-Sinai impacts the future of healthcare by developing new approaches to treatment and educating tomorrow’s health professionals. Additionally, Cedars-Sinai demonstrates a commitment to the community through programs that improve the health of its most vulnerable residents.

About Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C.

Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C. (NGOC) is a recognized leader and innovator of community-based cancer treatment and patient-centered care. As the largest community-based, independent cancer practice in Georgia with 10 cancer centers throughout Metro Atlanta, the NGOC team is committed to sustaining and strengthening the accessibility, quality and value of community-based medical oncology practices through influencing public policy, national advocacy work, a robust clinical trials program, and via partnerships like its newly formed alliance with Cigna Collaborative Care. NGOC is one of the first oncology medical homes in the nation to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer based upon its excellence in the areas of patient engagement, expanded access, evidence-based medicine, comprehensive team-based care, and quality improvement. To learn more about the advanced cancer treatment provided by the NGOC team, visit

About Oncology Consultants

For over 33 years Oncology Consultants has been committed to providing state-of-the art cancer treatment in a caring environment. Led by Dr. Luis T. Campos, this 14 physician practice serves the Greater Houston area by offering a broad range of cancer treatment programs including Clinical Trials, Retail Pharmacy, Radiation Therapy, and Diagnostic Imaging. Oncology Consultants is dedicated to treating our patients in their communities. Through our 10 locations across the Houston area, we strive to be highly accessible to our patients and those who care for them. For more information please visit or call 713.600.0900.