Cigna's Collaborative Accountalbe Care Program With Medical Clinic of North Texas Shows Improved Quality, Lower Costs

First-year results from Cigna's (NYSE:CI) collaborative accountable care initiative with Medical Clinic of North Texas (MCNT) indicate that these types of programs continue to show progress toward achieving the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accountable care organizations, or ACOs.

Since the program began, MCNT has received the highest level of recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for meeting national quality standards for physician group medical homes. A key indicator of medical quality is how well doctors follow evidence-based medical guidelines. MCNT continues to improve its adherence to evidence-based medicine and its physicians outperformed the market by six percentage points.

Cigna helps by sharing patient-specific data that identifies individuals who could benefit most from additional outreach and follow-up care. The care coordinator, who is fundamental to the program’s success, is a nurse on MCNT’s staff who uses the Cigna data and reaches out to these patients.

“We’re able to share information with MCNT about potential gaps in care, such as which patients might be overdue for a mammogram or colonoscopy, or which patients with diabetes are missing important blood tests or didn’t refill a prescription,” said Dr. Mark Netoskie, senior medical director for Cigna in Texas. “Using this information, MCNT’s care coordinator can reach out to these patients to ensure they get the care they need, which results in higher compliance with evidence-based medicine guidelines and a healthier population.”

During the program’s first year, MCNT’s enhanced care coordination improved control of A1c blood sugar levels in diabetes patients by nearly three percent. Management of cholesterol and blood pressure levels also improved for these patients. Helping people with diabetes control their disease and manage their overall health can have significant long-term benefits, including longer, more productive lives and lower medical costs

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