In continuation of its strategy to enhance its Collaborative
Accountable Care (CAC) initiative, health insurer
) recently tied up with Physician Health Partners.
The Accountable Care initiative formed with Physician Health
Partners has become effective Jan 1, 2014 onwards. The program
will benefit more than 27,000 customers of Cigna who are covered
under the Cigna health plan, and receive care from more than 300
physicians related to Primary Physician Partners and South Metro
This initiative is in sync with Cigna's goal to improve the
quality of care and service provided to customers, along with
that of lowering healthcare costs and enhancing overall
Cigna's Collaborative Accountable Care initiative is similar
to an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). An ACO is a group
effort by health care providers who voluntarily form alliances to
provide coordinated high quality care for 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 intends to
improve the health of individuals and communities besides
curtailing rising healthcare costs.
Through the CAC program, physicians of Primary Physician
Partners and South Metro Primary Care will monitor and coordinate
all the aspects of patient care. Patients will receive the
associated benefits even when they retain their current
The program does not specify any changes regarding referrals
to specialists. Patients suffering from long-term diseases such
as diabetes, heart disease and obesity are the ones who are
poised to benefit the most from this initiative.
Enrollees in the program will also be able to receive the
services of registered nurses. They will coordinate patient
clinical care, educate patients about various health conditions,
and counsel them on proper health care needs.
The ACO will designate care coordinators to work closely with
patients and monitor the services being offered. They will follow
up with the patients throughout, sending reminders about
screenings required or recommend direct medical help. At the same
time, they will educate patients by helping them to participate
in various health and wellness programs, and workshops.
The medical groups will be paid by Cigna on the basis of
quality services rendered by them.
Initiatives like ACOs or the one adopted by Cigna are being
deployed to improve population health in general and to offer
high quality healthcare to patients.
At present, Cigna is engaged in 86 Collaborative Accountable
Care initiatives in 27 U.S. states. These programs provide
services to more than 880,000 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.
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
) are also actively involved with ACO initiatives.
Cigna currently holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another
top-ranked stock -
) carrying the same Zacks Rank as Cigna, is also worth
AETNA INC-NEW (AET): Free Stock Analysis
CIGNA CORP (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
KEMPER CORP (KMPR): Free Stock Analysis
UNITEDHEALTH GP (UNH): Free Stock Analysis
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