Newsroom | 13 February 2018

Cigna, UPMC and Washington Physician Hospital Organization Collaborate to Improve Care and Costs in Western Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA., FEBRUARY 13 2018 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) is launching new programs with UPMC Community Medicine physicians and Washington Physician Hospital Organization to provide Cigna customers in western Pennsylvania an expanded level of coordinated care, designed to improve health, affordability and the patient experience.

The new Cigna Collaborative Care programs took effect January 1 and are now available for more than 8,500 people who are covered by a Cigna health plan and receive care from primary care doctors at UPMC Community Medicine or Washington PHO.

"We are excited to partner with Cigna and give our patients a higher level of care coordination," said Dr. Francis Solano, president of UPMC Community Medicine. "By collaborating with Cigna, this program can help us meet our health system's desire to provide better care for individuals and populations while lowering the overall cost of care."

"Washington Physician Hospital Organization is joining with Cigna because this program aligns with our vision of providing patient-centered care close to home," said Charles Vargo, executive director, WPHO. "This partnership will enable us to continue the delivery of high quality care, and when a health plan and health care professionals collaborate to achieve common goals, we believe that leads to better health and a better experience for the people we serve."

Physicians and providers participating in Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements share a collaborative approach to health care delivery that manages patients' care at every level, controls costs and reduces unnecessary procedures, all with a focus toward quality care and outcomes for each individual. UPMC Community Medicine includes more than 575 providers, while Washington PHO includes more than 275 providers including primary care physicians and a wide range of specialists, such as cardiologists and orthopedists.

In places where it's been introduced, Cigna Collaborative Care has been shown to improve the health of Cigna customers while effectively managing medical costs by helping to:

  • close gaps in care, such as missed health screenings or prescription refills;
  • reinforce the appropriate use of hospital emergency rooms;
  • increase the number of preventive health visits; and,
  • improve follow-up care for people transitioning from the hospital to home.

As part of the arrangement, UPMC Community Medicine and Washington PHO will introduce care coordinators whose role it is to help patients--especially those with chronic conditions-- manage their care and navigate the health system to ensure they receive follow-up care or screenings, as well as access to educational resources specific to their care. Care coordinators are also aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the providers and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for patients.

The care coordinators will enhance care by using patient-specific data from Cigna to help identify patients being discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, as well as patients 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 patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

"This is an important milestone for Cigna to expand our collaborative care programs to western Pennsylvania for the first time. We're pleased to be a partner of choice for both UPMC and Washington as we work together, committed to improving the quality of health care," said Monica Schmude, president for Cigna's Liberty Valley market, which includes Pennsylvania. "As we've seen with other collaborative care models, a system that's focused on value rather than volume will ultimately lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families, employers and doctors."

Cigna has been a leader in the value-based care movement since 2008 and now has more than 200 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with primary care physician groups. They reach more 2.4 million commercial customers and encompass more than 130,000 doctors, including approximately 74,000 primary care physicians and 60,000 specialists, and span 31 states. Continued expansion of Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with additional Pittsburgh health systems and community providers is expected for 2018.

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

About UPMC

A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. It provides more than $888 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region's most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors' offices and outpatient sites, a 2.9-million-member health insurance division, and international and commercial operations. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC ranks No. 13 in the prestigious U.S. News World Report annual Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. For more information, go to

About Washington Physician Hospital Organization

Washington PHO is a partnership with Washington Health System and 275 community based physicians including primary care providers and specialist in over 40 medical and surgical disciplines. Washington Health System provides health care services at more than 40 off-site locations throughout three counties. In addition to its flagship 260 licensed bed hospital in Washington, Pa., WHS recently added Washington Health System Greene, a community centered 49-bed hospital, to its integrated system of care. Washington Health System also consists of diagnostic centers, outpatient care facilities, the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, Greenbriar Treatment Center and hospice care, all seamlessly working together to provide excellent patient-and-family-centered care. The Washington PHO has a long history of successful clinical integration efforts within its provider network. For more information, go to