Northwest Physicians Network and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs

  Northwest Physicians Network and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to
  Improve Health and Lower Costs

  *Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on
    preventive care
  *Primary care doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and
    lowering medical costs
  *Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna
    case managers

Business Wire

TACOMA, Wash. & BLOOMFIELD, Conn. -- March 28, 2013

Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Northwest Physicians Network (NPN), an independent
physician association (IPA) serving the south Puget Sound area, 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 1.

Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same
population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The
program will benefit nearly 3,300 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan
who receive care from NPN’s 150 primary care physicians. The program with NPN
is Cigna's first accountable care program in the Puget Sound area and in the
state of Washington.

“At NPN, we focus on coordinating the care of our patients to ensure they get
the right care at the right place at the right time,” said Patricia Briggs,
Northwest Physicians Network CEO. “Our commitment to quality care that
delivers superior results for our patients is perfectly aligned 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 Mary O’Neill, M.D., Cigna’s senior
medical director for Washington. “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, NPN 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 NPN, 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 NPN 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 Northwest Physicians Network

Northwest Physicians Network is a full service independent practice
association that was incorporated in 1995. It has been active in managed care
contracts for Medicare and Medicaid populations since is inception. There are
about 500 providers representing 51 specialties and sub specialties in the
network, which spans a service area of about 1.3 million in the South Puget
Sound area of Washington. NPN has been an area leader in providing care
management and care coordination services by its nursing staff who work
closely with provider offices and hospital personnel. NPN has also sponsored
innovative web-based services for its providers, including registries for
chronic care improvement and a patient transition of care platform to support
care coordination and communication across the community. NPN has become
involved in a variety of shared savings programs with commercial payers since
2012. In 2013 NPN and the Franciscan Health System started a joint venture ACO
named the Franciscan Northwest Physicians Health Network with a large ACO
contract from CMS. To learn more about NPN visit

About Cigna

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

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Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
Northwest Physicians Network
Pat Briggs, 253-722-0311
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