U.S. health insurer CIGNA Corp. ( CI ) has formed an
Accountable Care Organization (ACO) initiative with Atlantic
Accountable Care Organization. This step is in sync with Cigna's
goal to improve the quality of care and service provided to the
customers along with lower healthcare costs and improving overall
An ACO is a group effort by health care providers, who
voluntarily form alliances to provide coordinated high quality care
to patients. An ACO is accountable for the quality, cost and
overall care offered to members. By focusing on the needs of
patients and connecting payments to the service offered, this model
is intended to improve the health of individuals and communities as
well as curtail rising healthcare costs.
Cigna's new ACO initiative with Atlantic Accountable Care
Organization will serve more than 15,000 individuals covered by the
Cigna health plan. These customers already receive services from
1300 doctors affiliated to Atlantic ACO.
Through this program doctors will monitor and coordinate all the
aspects of a patient's care. The enrollees in the program will also
have the benefit of receiving services of registered nurses
employed by Atlantic ACO. They will coordinate patient care,
educate patients about various health conditions, and provide
counsel for corrective health care. The ACO will also designate
care coordinators who will stay close to the patients and monitor
the services being offered.
Atlantic ACO physicians will receive remuneration based on their
performance in reducing patients' health care cost while providing
them best service.
Cigna calls its ACO-like initiatives Collaborative Accountable
Care (CAC). Initiatives like ACO or CAC are being deployed to
improve the health of Americans as well as to offer high quality
health care to patients.
At present, Cigna is engaged in more than 52 CAC initiatives in
22 states. These programs provide services to more than 510,000
Cigna customers. The company initiated its first CAC program back
in 2008. It aims to serve about 1 million customers via 100 CAC
initiatives by 2014.
Companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc. ( UNH ) and Aetna
Inc. ( AET
) also assert ACO initiatives. Going forward, we expect
acceleration in the formation of such patient-centered
Cigna currently retains a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy). Another stock,
FBL Financial Group Inc. ( FFG ) carrying a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy) is worth considering.AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis ReportCIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis ReportFBL FINL GRP-A (FFG): Free Stock Analysis
ReportUNITEDHEALTH GP (UNH): Free Stock Analysis
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