Cigna (NYSE: CI) and St.
Joseph Health System have launched a collaborative
care initiative to improve patient access to health care,
enhance care coordination, and achieve the goal of improved
health, affordability and patient experience. The
program became effective July 1 and is Cigna's first collaborative care
initiative serving the Brazos Valley. Cigna currently has eleven
collaborative care arrangements throughout Texas and 100 of them
Cigna Collaborative Care is the company's approach to
accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care
organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit
approximately 4,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who
receive care from approximately 265 primary care doctors and specialists
with St. Joseph in the Brazos Valley.
In places where it's been introduced, Cigna
Collaborative Care is helping to improve the health of Cigna customers
while holding the line on medical costs. The programs are helping to
close gaps in care, such as missed health screenings or prescription
refills, reducing unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms,
increasing the number of preventive health visits and improving
follow-up care for people transitioning from the hospital to home.
"St. Joseph Health System has been at the forefront of developing
programs to help keep our patients well and improve the overall health
of our community. Our new partnership with Cigna is just one more
example of this. In partnership with our physicians and advanced
practitioners conveniently located throughout the Brazos Valley, the
care coordination model allows us to work even more closely with our
patients, helping them achieve their individual health and wellness
goals," said Dan Dawson, M.D., St. Joseph Health System Chief Medical
Officer for clinical itegration.
"A system that's focused on value rather than volume ultimately leads to
a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for
individuals, families, employers and doctors," said Mike Koehler,
president and general manager for Cigna in South Texas. "These goals can
only be reached by working in collaboration with health care
professionals, and St. Joseph shares this same vision for the future of
our health care system. We are pleased to be working with St. Joseph and
to expand our collaborative care program to the Brazos Valley."
Under the program, St. Joseph Health System doctors 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 doctor with St. Joseph Health
System 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 registered nurse clinical
care coordinators, employed by St. Joseph Health System, 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
that may be available as part of their health plan, such as disease
management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions;
and lifestyle management programs for quitting smoking or managing
Cigna will compensate St. Joseph Health System for the medical and care
coordination services doctors provide. Additionally, St. Joseph may be
rewarded through a "pay for value" structure for meeting targets for
improving quality and lowering medical costs.
Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization
movement since 2008 and now has 100 Cigna
Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician groups that
span 27 states, reach more than one million commercial customers and
encompass more than 39,000 doctors, including more than 19,000 primary
care physicians and more than 20,000 specialists.
Cigna Collaborative Care is one component of the company's approach to
physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the
innovative Cigna-HealthSpring® care model for Medicare
customers. Today, more than 1.3 million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring
customers benefit from 265 engaged physician relationships across 31
states, with more than 66,000 doctors participating, including more than
25,000 primary care physicians and more than 41,000 specialists.
About St. Joseph Health System
Established in 1936, St. Joseph Health System is a faith-based,
not-for-profit health system that is owned and operated by the Sisters
of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio. With five hospitals, two long-term
care facilities and numerous family medicine and specialty clinics, St.
Joseph continues to carry out its original mission to provide excellent
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 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.
[ Back To NFVZone's Homepage ]