Granite Healthcare Network Shows Higher Quality, Lower Costs in Collaborative Accountable Care Program with Cigna

First-year results from Cigna's (NYSE:CI) collaborative accountable care  initiative with Granite Healthcare Network  (GHN), a partnership among five independent charitable health care organizations in New Hampshire, indicate that the program is making strides toward achieving its goals of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The initiative has helped GHN deliver a higher level of care in New Hampshire while controlling total medical costs for its 30,000 patients who are covered by a Cigna health plan.

The Granite Healthcare Network comprises Concord Hospital, Elliot Health System, LRGHealthcare, Southern New Hampshire Health System and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Each member is an independent, integrated health care delivery system consisting of primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.

When the program started last year, Cigna evaluated how well GHN followed nationally recognized evidence based medicine guidelines (a measure of quality) and determined that GHN’s performance was at parity with the New Hampshire market. In just one year, GHN has improved those quality results one percent and is now better than the market. This was driven by improvements in a number of quality measures, including better-than-market quality results for cervical and breast cancer screening, adolescent well care, diabetes care and child access to primary care doctors. In addition, during the first year of the initiative, GHN improved its rate for closing gaps in care by two percent.

During the year, GHN’s medical cost trend was 1.2 percentage points better than the New Hampshire market (GHN 3.7 percent, market 4.9 percent). This successful bending of the cost curve was driven by a number of factors, including:

  • Emergency room cost trend reduced by 8 percent
  • Emergency room use reduced by 4 percent
  • Advanced imaging (MRI and CT) cost trend reduced by 4 percent
  • Advanced imaging (MRI and CT) use reduced by 7 percent
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