Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Cigna Start Accountable Care
Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs
*Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on
*Primary care doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and
lowering medical costs
*Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna
MORRISTOWN, N.J. & BLOOMFIELD, Conn. -- March 28, 2013
Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, 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 is effective April
Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same
population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The
program will benefit more than 15,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health
plan who receive care from Atlantic ACO’s 1,300 physicians.
“Every day our doctors and clinical team focus on providing well-coordinated
care that helps our patients live healthier, more productive lives,” said
David Shulkin, M.D., administrator, Atlantic ACO, president, Morristown
Medical Center, and vice president, Atlantic Health System. “Our commitment to
quality care that delivers superior results for our patients aligns with
Cigna's commitment to changing the focus of health care from volume of care to
quality and value of care.”
“We’re aiming to fundamentally change the health care delivery system by
rewarding physicians for results,” said Ronald Menzin, M.D., Cigna’s senior
medical director for New Jersey. “A patient-centered system that’s focused on
prevention and wellness, combined with the right incentives for physicians,
will ultimately result in a healthier population and lower medical costs.
That’s good for individuals, families, employers and doctors.”
Under the program, Atlantic ACO monitors and coordinates all aspects of an
individual’s medical care. Patients 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 in
the medical group 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 or heart disease.
Critical to the program’s benefits are registered nurses, employed by Atlantic
ACO, who serve as clinical care coordinators and 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 that
ultimately results in 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 helps patients
get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identifies potential
complications related to medications and helps prevent chronic conditions from
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 Atlantic ACO for the medical and care coordination
services it provides. Additionally, the medical group 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 is now engaged in nearly 60 collaborative
accountable care initiatives in 24 states, encompassing more than 650,000
Cigna customers and more than 23,000 doctors, including more than 11,000
primary care physicians and more than 11,500 specialists. Cigna launched its
first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its goal is to have
100 of them in place with one million customers in 2014.
About Atlantic Accountable Care Organization
Touted as one of the “10 ACOs to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review, the
Atlantic ACO was one of the first and largest in the country selected to
participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care
Organization, a multifaceted program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services. Atlantic ACO includes participation from more than
1,300 physicians, including more than 200 primary care physicians, 50 nurse
practitioners and 10 ancillary care providers in five counties: Bergen,
Morris, Sussex, Somerset, and Union counties. Through its participating
physicians, hospitals, and staff, Atlantic ACO is committed to improving the
quality of health care and reducing the individual and clinical health care
costs for the population served in these regions. Atlantic ACO cares for more
than 55,000 beneficiaries.
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 78 million customer relationships throughout the world.
To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or
Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
Atlantic Accountable Care Organization
Pam Garretson, 973-971-4932
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