New Haven Community Medical Group and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health Outcomes and Lower Costs

  • Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
  • Doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and lowering medical costs
  • Program includes physician directed clinical care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. & NEW HAVEN, Conn.--()--Cigna (NYSE:CI) and hundreds of doctors from the New Haven Community Medical Group have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), cost effective care and increased patient satisfaction.

Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit nearly 18,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from among New Haven Community Medical Group’s 583 physicians, including 216 primary care doctors and 367 specialists. The New Haven Community Medical Group is an integrated network of physicians and other health care professionals that works in clinical collaboration with the Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“We focus on practicing evidence-based medicine because it offers the best opportunity to improve the health of our patients, particularly those with chronic conditions,” said Joseph L. Quaranta, M.D., president of New Haven Community Medical Group. “Cigna's commitment to prevention and health improvement, plus its system for compensating physician groups for quality, makes this program a perfect fit for us. We look forward to working together to achieve the triple aim.”

Under the program, New Haven Community Medical Group doctors monitor and coordinate many aspects of an individual’s medical care. Patients continue to go to their current physician 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 doctor in the medical group 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 or heart disease.

Critical to the program’s benefits are care coordinators, employed by the medical group, who 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 medical group and Cigna that ultimately results in a better experience for the individual.

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 helps patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identifies potential complications related to medications and helps prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

Cigna will compensate the New Haven Community Medical Group for the medical and care coordination services it provides. Additionally, the medical group may be rewarded through a “pay for performance” structure if it meets targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

“Our goal is to change the U.S. health care system from one that emphasizes the amount of care delivered to one that emphasizes the quality of that care,” said Dr. Robert Hockmuth, Cigna’s senior medical director for New England. “A patient-centered system that’s focused on prevention and wellness, and that rewards doctors for value rather than volume of services, will ultimately result in a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families, employers and doctors.”

The principles of the patient-centered medical home are the foundation of Cigna's collaborative accountable care initiatives. Cigna then builds on that foundation with a strong focus on collaboration and communication with physician practices. Cigna is now engaged in 42 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 18 states, encompassing more than 390,000 Cigna customers and more than 5,500 primary care physicians. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its goal is to have 100 of them in place with one million customers by the end of 2014.

About New Haven Community Medical Group

The New Haven Community Medical Group, Inc. is an integrated network of physicians, podiatrists, dentists and midlevel practitioners, dedicated to providing the communities they serve with appropriate access to care, clinical services excellence and the prudent use of resources. Founded in 1987, New Haven Community Medical Group includes 583 providers in over 200 practices located throughout New Haven County. New Haven Community Medical Group is a Connecticut corporation governed by an elected Physician Board of Directors that is responsible for the governance and management of the company. The goal has been to connect the physician community, build programs to help manage patients more efficiently, develop group recognition, and have a voice in directing the health care delivery system. A number of members are actively involved in specific clinical integration committees including pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery and obstetrics/gynecology. The committee members are focused on developing office based process improvement programs and chronic disease management tools and the group is deeply involved in collaborative efforts to bridge the gap between outpatient care and care delivered during hospitalizations.

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 approximately 71 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

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Contacts

Cigna
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
mark.slitt@cigna.com
or
New Haven Community Medical Group
Tom Thetford, 888-304-1054, ext. 1
TThetford@ynhcmg.org

Release Summary

Cigna and hundreds of doctors from the New Haven Community Medical Group have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative.

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Contacts

Cigna
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
mark.slitt@cigna.com
or
New Haven Community Medical Group
Tom Thetford, 888-304-1054, ext. 1
TThetford@ynhcmg.org