BLOOMFIELD, Conn., July 20, 2011 - The strength of Cigna's (NYSE: CI) physician and hospital performance measurement programs for quality and cost has again been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Cigna has earned Physician and Hospital Quality (PHQ) Certification for the second time after a rigorous recertification survey under NCQA's strict standards adopted in 2008.
The company earned the "Certification" status in all 17 HMO/Point of Service markets and all 38 PPO and Open Access markets across the country where physician and hospital quality and cost information is currently provided to Cigna customers.
"Achieving PHQ Certification from NCQA demonstrates that Cigna has the systems, process and personnel in place to continuously improve the quality of care delivered through its network of health care professionals," explains Margaret E. O' Kane, president of NCQA.
"We're very gratified to have earned this NCQA Certification," said Dr. Dick Salmon, Cigna's national medical director for performance measurement and improvement. "This is a strong indication that the information Cigna provides about quality and cost can help the people we serve make better, more informed decisions when choosing doctors and hospitals."
Dr. Salmon noted that if everyone enrolled in a Cigna health plan used this information to choose a hospital, on average there would be nearly 30 percent fewer hospital deaths, and hospital-related complications would be reduced by 30 percent, while hospital costs would be nearly 34 percent lower. Similarly, if everyone enrolled in a Cigna health plan used this information to choose a specialist, clinical quality indicators would improve four to five percent while total medical costs would decline by as much as 12 percent.
Health plans seeking NCQA Physician and Hospital Quality Certification must show that they measure the quality and cost of services provided by contracted doctors and hospitals using nationally recognized standards endorsed by outside organizations. In addition, health plans must prove they use the information in their efforts to improve health care quality and share the data with their customers.
Cigna offers a range of award-winning resources to help people learn more about the quality and cost of the health care they choose, including physician and hospital cost and quality information for treating 400 conditions and real time pricing from some 60,000 pharmacies - all according to the individual's Cigna health plan. Some examples include:
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna offers products and services in 29 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 66 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://newsroom.cigna.com/rss. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit Cigna's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cigna and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.