) has expanded its accountable care initiative with Brown &
Toland Physicians, which marks inclusion of more Brown &
Toland doctors and locations.
Cigna had originally formed the Accountable Care Organization
(ACO) with Brown & Toland in Oct 2012. The extension of the
agreement has been effective since Oct 2013. Under the extended
agreement, an East Bay affiliate of Brown & Toland -- Alta
Bates Medical Group (ABMG) -- also joined the program. This
resulted in Cigna customers being given access to 327 additional
physicians at numerous locations in Oakland, Berkeley and
elsewhere in the East Bay.
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 linking payments to outcomes, this model of care
intends to improve the health of individuals and communities and
curb the rising health care costs.
Cigna calls its ACO-like initiatives Collaborative Accountable
Care (CAC). ACOs or Collaborative Accountable Care, is one of the
several ways by which President Obama has sought to improve the
quality of health for all Americans. It is viewed as a tool that
would deliver seamless, high quality care for the entire
Cigna's ACO with Brown and Toland will designate care
coordinators to work closely with patients and monitor the
services being offered. They will follow up with the patient
throughout, sending reminders about screenings required or
recommend direct medical help. At the same time, they will
educate patients by helping them participate in various health
and wellness programs and workshops.
Cigna's ACO initiative is based on Patient-Centered Medical
Home (PCMH) program. Through the PCMH Cigna works to improve
patient care with strong focus on collaboration and communication
with physician practices.
At present, Cigna is engaged in 75 Collaborative Accountable
Care initiatives in 26 states. These programs provide services to
more than 760,000 Cigna customers. Cigna initiated its first CAC
program back in 2008. Cigna aims to serve about 1 million
customers via 100 CAC initiatives by 2014.
Along with its newly acquired subsidiary HealthSpring, Cigna
has 240 ACO programs in 31 states serving more than one million
customers. It has approximately 58,000 participating doctors,
which includes nearly 20,000 primary care physicians and nearly
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
) are also assertive about ACO initiatives.
Cigna currently retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another stock,
FBL Financial Group Inc.
) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is worth considering.
AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis
CIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
FBL FINL GRP-A (FFG): Free Stock Analysis
UNITEDHEALTH GP (UNH): Free Stock Analysis
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