New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA) Collaborates With Cigna to Improve Health and Lower Costs in Boston Area

BRAINTREE, Mass., 10 May, 2016 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) has launched a collaborative care initiative with New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA), a network of more than 1,800 community and academic physicians affiliated with Tufts Medical Center, to improve patient access to health care and enhance care coordination. The initiative became effective April 1 and is Cigna's second arrangement of this type in the Boston area. It will benefit more than 10,000 individuals covered by a Cigna administered health plan who receive care from NEQCA physicians.

Cigna Collaborative Care aims to achieve the same population health goals as accountable care organizations (ACOs): improved health, affordability and patient experience.

In places where it’s been introduced, Cigna Collaborative Care is helping to improve the health of Cigna customers while effectively managing medical costs. For example, the programs are helping to:

“We are pleased to be partnering with Cigna in their collaborative care program,” said Jeff Lasker, M.D., NEQCA president and chief executive officer. “Cigna Collaborative Care exemplifies the values of our network, and provides an opportunity for our physicians to continue to demonstrate their ability to successfully meet quality and financial targets. Year over year, we have brought value to patients and payers through targeted quality improvement and clinical programs. By sharing data and resources, and with the support of Cigna care coordinators, we believe this new partnership can enhance the care we deliver to all of our patients by identifying earlier stages of disease and individuals at risk to ensure better outcomes for our patients.”

The registered nurse 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. The care coordinators are also aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the medical group and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the individual.

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.

“We continue to see great success with these types of arrangements throughout New England and throughout the country, and we look forward to working with NEQCA, a demonstrated leader in population health, through this consultative partnership to improve health care in Greater Boston,” said Mark Butler, Cigna's president and general manager for New England. “When we reward doctors for the value of their care and focus on prevention, wellness, health improvement and care coordination, we can create a system that benefits everyone who uses, pays for or delivers health care.”

Cigna will compensate physicians who are part of the initiative for the medical and care coordination services they provide. Additionally, physicians may be rewarded through a “pay for value” structure for meeting targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

Cigna clinical and medical economics teams will provide consultative services to NEQCA to help it achieve its quality and financial targets. Additionally, NEQCA will benefit from the learning collaboratives that Cigna convenes each quarter, and will share best practices and success stories from across the Massachusetts-based network with front line staff at participating medical groups nationwide.

Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization movement since 2008 and now has 150 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups. They span 29 states, reach 1.7 million commercial customers and encompass more than 69,000 doctors, including nearly 34,000 primary care physicians and nearly 36,000 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 90 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About NEQCA

New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA) is a partnership of more than 1,800 community and academic physicians located in practices across eastern Massachusetts. NEQCA is a leader in helping physician practices of all sizes manage change, build population health capabilities, control costs and improve the quality of patient care. NEQCA is among the highest-quality networks in Massachusetts, and has been recognized for its ability to control healthcare spending. Tufts Medical Center, the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine and the Floating Hospital for Children is the preferred academic medical center for the network. For more information, please visit: www.neqca.org.

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