Core Physicians and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs in Southeastern New Hampshire

  • Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
  • Primary care doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and lowering medical costs
  • Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers
  • Cigna's fourth accountable care initiative in New Hampshire

EXETER, N.H.--()--Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Core Physicians have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The program became effective January 1, and is Cigna's fourth accountable care initiative in New Hampshire.

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 4,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from more than 120 Core Physicians primary care doctors and specialists.

“Every day our health care professionals deliver quality care that helps our patients live healthier, more productive lives,” said Roxanne Touchette, vice president, clinical operations, Core Physicians. “This collaboration with Cigna is an opportunity to continue to improve quality, with greater focus on results and preventive care which we hope will lead to healthier, better-satisfied patients.”

“When we collaborate with physicians and reward them for results, we have an opportunity to improve the health care delivery system,” said Dr. Robert Hockmuth, Cigna’s senior medical executive for New Hampshire. “By paying more attention to the patient, with a stronger focus on prevention, wellness and care coordination, we’ll have a healthier population and lower medical costs. That’s good for individuals, families, employers and health care professionals.”

Under the program, Core Physicians will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual’s medical care. Patients will 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 Core Physicians doctor 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, heart disease and obesity.

Critical to the program’s benefits are the clinical care coordinator and practice-based registered nurses, employed by Core Physicians, 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 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.

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.

Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical support 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 Core Physicians for the medical and care coordination services it provides. Additionally, Core Physicians may be rewarded through a “pay for value” structure if it meets targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

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 has 86 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 27 states, encompassing more than 880,000 commercial customers and more than 35,000 doctors, including more than 16,000 primary care physicians and more than 19,000 specialists. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and will reach its goal to have 100 of them in place with one million customers in 2014.

Collaborative accountable care is one component of the company's approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the innovative Cigna-HealthSpringSM care model for Medicare 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 Core Physicians

Core Physicians is a community based, multi-specialty group practice affiliated with Exeter Hospital. The fundamental mission of Core Physicians is to improve the health of individuals and families in the communities it serves. As a major provider of primary care services in the region, Core Physicians continues to develop diagnostic and surgical services to meet the increasing healthcare needs of a rapidly expanding population. In addition, specialty case services continue to be added to complement Core’s community-based, patient-focused care. For more information about Core Physicians, visit www.corephysicians.org.

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

Contacts

Cigna
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
mark.slitt@cigna.com
or
Exeter Health Resources
Debra Vasapolli, 603-580-7524
DVasapolli@ehr.org

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Release Summary

Cigna and Core Physicians have launched an accountable care program in New Hampshire to achieve the “triple aim” of improved health, affordability and patient experience.

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Contacts

Cigna
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
mark.slitt@cigna.com
or
Exeter Health Resources
Debra Vasapolli, 603-580-7524
DVasapolli@ehr.org