BALTIMORE - May 1, 2014 - With Cigna-HealthSpring's support, a group of Baltimore primary care doctors have launched a new Independent Physician Association (IPA) to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination and achieve the goal of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The IPA became effective May 1, 2014.
Cigna-HealthSpring's physician engagement work with IPAs is similar to the population health goals of accountable care organizations, or ACOs, and is based on rewarding health care professionals for value rather than volume. Additionally, Cigna-HealthSpring provides medical management resources to help the IPA achieve quality and cost targets.
The Baltimore-based IPA, Trendsetter Physicians IPA, LLC, will benefit the 6,000 Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage customers who are already receiving care from the 28 primary care doctors who form the IPA. The IPA will primarily serve Cigna-HealthSpring customers across three counties - Baltimore City, Baltimore and northern Anne Arundel - and has the potential to serve a growing number of Cigna-HealthSpring customers as seniors continue to age into Medicare.
"Our team of doctors has been collaborating successfully with Cigna-HealthSpring for several years now and we are delighted to take our relationship to the next level with the launch of the IPA," said Nnaemeka Agajelu, MD, IPA board member and participating physician. "The IPA arrangement will enable more clinical and data-management support from Cigna-HealthSpring, which will allow us to meet our shared goal of better care delivery and coordination for our patients."
"From our past success with cultivating and collaborating with IPAs, we know we can achieve better health results with lower medical costs for our customers, higher rewards for participating doctors, and greater satisfaction for customers and doctors alike," said Lewis Biggers, chief operating officer for Cigna-HealthSpring's Mid-Atlantic market. "By continuing to make an investment in prevention, wellness and coordinated care, we know we will yield better short- and long-term value for both our customers and physician partners."
The IPA arrangement enables better access to quality, personalized and affordable health care for Cigna-HealthSpring customers in Baltimore and surrounding areas. Customers most likely to see the immediate benefits are those who need help managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The 28 primary care doctors who form the IPA have historically participated in Cigna-HealthSpring quality programs and consistently achieved the highest quality results while also utilizing less medical dollars overall.
Critical to the program's benefits are the registered nurse clinical care coordinators, employed by Cigna-HealthSpring, 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-HealthSpring case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the IPA doctors and Cigna-HealthSpring, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the consumer.
Cigna-HealthSpring's collaboration with IPAs is just one component of Cigna's approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes Cigna's Collaborative Care arrangements for commercial customers. Today, well over one million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring customers benefit from more than 250 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 62,000 doctors participating, including more than 22,000 primary care physicians and more than 40,000 specialists.
About Trendsetter Physicians IPA Trendsetter Physicians IPA is an independent physician association serving the health care needs of the Greater Baltimore area. Trendsetter is comprised of 28 primary care doctors united by a shared passion for delivering quality, coordinated health care to those they serve. Payers and organizations interested in working and contracting with Trendsetter may contact 443-927-9802.
About Cigna-HealthSpring Cigna-HealthSpring, a Cigna company (NYSE:CI), is one of the country's leading health plans focused on delivering care to the senior population, predominately through Medicare Advantage and other Medicare and Medicaid products. Cigna-HealthSpring serves over one million customers in locations across the country. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Cigna-HealthSpring operates health plans in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. Cigna-HealthSpring also offers a national stand-alone prescription drug plan. For more information, visit www.cignahealthspring.com .