Cigna Announces Program To Reduce Medical Costs, Improve Care Of 20,500 Connecticut Patients

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 Cigna Corp. on Tuesday announced agreements with two doctors’ groups — one in New Haven County, one in northeastern Connecticut — to better coordinate patient care for 20,500 patients.

The new programs, with New Haven Community Medical Group and Day Kimball Healthcare, are designed to improve patient health and satisfaction, and reduce medical costs. Both agreements took effect Oct. 1.

They are the latest in a number of accountable-care organizations announced across the nation as health insurers broker arrangements with doctors and hospitals to reduce medical costs while maintaining quality care. Cigna, for example, is involved in 42 accountable-care programs in 18 states, involving more than 390,000 people covered by the health plans and more than 5,500 primary-care physicians.

Cigna now has three accountable-care organizations in Connecticut. The new agreement between Cigna and New Haven Community Medical Group affects nearly 18,000 people covered by Cigna health plans who receive care from the group’s 583 medical doctors — 216 primary-care doctors and 367 specialists.

Cigna’s new arrangement with Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam affects about 2,500 patients. In 2009, Cigna announced its first accountable-care program in Connecticut with ProHealth Physicians, and that program involves about 24,000 patients across the state.

“We focus on practicing evidence-based medicine because it offers the best opportunity to improve the health of our patients, particularly those with chronic conditions,” said Dr. Joseph L. Quaranta, president of New Haven Community Medical Group, said in a prepared statement.

As part of the program, care coordinators will work with patients who have chronic conditions, and others, to make sure they get the follow-up screenings and check-ups they need. Additionally, care coordinators will track patients’ prescriptions from various doctors to make sure the medications don’t conflict with one another.

The program also calls for more outreach to patients to refer them to Cigna’s wellness programs, such as managing heart disease or diabetes, among other efforts.

“A patient-centered system that’s focused on prevention and wellness, and that rewards doctors for value rather than volume of services, will ultimately result in a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families, employers and doctors,” Dr. Robert Hockmuth, Cigna’s senior medical director for New England, said in a prepared statement.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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2 thoughts on “Cigna Announces Program To Reduce Medical Costs, Improve Care Of 20,500 Connecticut Patients

  1. Mary Larson

    Does anyone proofread the articles at the Hartford Courant? This article is NOT about Cigna Insurance. It is about UnitedHealth.
    I guess you laid off too many of the “worker bees”.
    Apparently your new staff is not required to check the headline and the accompanying news story.

  2. Mary Larson

    Glad to see that someone actually reads the comments from readers. Yes, the headline and story are now correct.

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