Cigna Hits CAC Milestone

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , April 4, 2013

The arrangement between NPN and Cigna will cover more than 3,000 patients. As with the other CAC arrangements, the clinical care coordinators, who are RNs at NPN, will be key to helping patients navigate the arrangement and as well as achieving the triple aim of improved health, affordability, and patient experience.

NPN will receive incentive payments for meeting quality improvement topics, which include increased screenings and reduced hospital stays, and also lowering medical costs through coordinated care.

O'Neill says it is also giving some financial payment "out of the gate" to help offset the costs of the clinical care coordinators. The incentive payment for meeting quality and cost targets is issued yearly, unless the targets are not met, and in that case, the coordinated care payment remains does not go up.

Under the CAC, NPN patients who are Cigna members will have automatic access the program. Cigna says there are no changes in members' plans, though the patients most likely to see the first benefits of the agreement are those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Cigna, like other payers and health systems, is turning to accountable care partnerships to reduce costs and improve outcomes. The insurer's first venture into this arena began with a patient-centered medical home pilot project with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in 2008.

Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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