Cigna's ACO program adds New Jersey medical group

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Cigna continues to stay busy launching multiple accountable care-type organizations, the latest of which is with a large medical group practice in New Jersey.

In the most recent partnership, which Cigna calls its collaborative accountable care program, the insurer is joining with Summit Medical Group, a large, multi-specialty medical practice with 300 doctors at 20 locations around New Jersey, reported The Star-Ledger.

The goal is for Summit's doctors to coordinate care for their 10,000 Cigna patients and reduce overall medical costs by preventing health problems before they occur.

Cigna will then share with Summit some of its savings that "come out of the decreased costs associated with fewer complications and a healthier population, such as the asthmatic who doesn't need to go to the ER," Dan Nicoll, Cigna's regional medical executive, told NJBiz. We want to reduce services that are avoidable, complications that are avoidable, and share those savings with the doctors."

The insurer's collaborative care program will particularly benefit Summit, which already has deployed electronic medical records and care coordinators who monitor patients with chronic conditions. The ACO agreement will help the medical group provide even more resources to Cigna members. "Cigna has very good information systems, and we have very good programs to help people, whether it is with weight loss, smoking cessation, or difficulty with diabetes or asthma," Nicoll said.

He added that ACOs will continue to grow in popularity as consumers "realize there is this level of support, that is going to cause patient migration to these practices," NJBiz noted.

To learn more:
- read the Star-Ledger article
- see the NJBiz article

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