Newsroom | 13 January 2016

WakeMed Key Community Care Partners With Cigna to Advance Quality and Value in North Carolina


Jill Holliday, 860-226-2094
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Kristin Kelly, 919-350-5921

  • Customers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
  • Partnership focuses on quality of care for more than 20,000 Triangle-area residents
  • Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 13 January, 2016 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) has launched a collaborative care initiative with WakeMed Key Community Care (WKCC), an accountable care organization (ACO) created by WakeMed Health & Hospitals, WakeMed Physician Practices and Key Physicians, that aims to improve the quality and value of care and the patient experience while making an impact on the health of the community through enhanced access to health care, care coordination and affordability. The initiative launched January 1, and represents one of seven Cigna collaborative care programs in place in North Carolina.

Cigna Collaborative Care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The new arrangement will benefit approximately 20,558 Triangle-area residents covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from 370 WakeMed Key Community Care primary care providers.

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.

"This expanded relationship with Cigna is the latest example of WKCC's commitment to improving quality of care for Triangle-area residents," said Brian Klausner, MD, medical director of WKCC. "Cigna members receiving care from a WKCC provider will benefit from improved coordination and value in their care."

"A customer-centered health care delivery system that emphasizes prevention and primary care, that rewards physicians for the quality of care and improved health outcomes will ultimately lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs," said Edward Hunsinger, M.D., Cigna's senior medical director for North Carolina.

Under the program, WKCC providers will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current physicians 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 WKCC physician 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 WKCC, 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 physician group and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the individual.

The care coordinators will enhance care by using patient-specific data from Cigna to help identify individuals being discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, as well as individuals who may be overdue for important health screenings or who may have skipped a prescription refill. The care coordinators are part of physician-led care teams that will help people get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

Care coordinators can also help individuals schedule appointments, provide health education and refer people to Cigna's clinical support programs that are part of their employer's health plan.

Cigna will compensate WKCC for the medical and care coordination services it provides. The financial structure is centered around paying for the value of care, which includes quality and efficiency.

Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization movement since 2008 and now has 142 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups that span 29 states, reach nearly 1.6 million commercial customers and encompass nearly 65,000 doctors, including approximately 32,000 primary care physicians and 33,000 specialists.

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

About WakeMed Key Community Care

WakeMed Key Community Care is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) established to enhance the quality and coordination of health care, and reduce the costs of care by providing more value for beneficiaries. ACOs enable medical providers to work closer together to create healthier communities and help individuals in the Triangle-area patients coordinate their health more effectively. A collaboration between WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Key Physicians, WakeMed Key Community Care brings together a network of more than 370 primary care providers with a leading health system and an additional 750 specialty care providers. The partnership is designed to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time at the right level, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. It is a limited liability company in which WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Key Physicians are members. For more information, visit