Greater Baltimore Health Alliance and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs

Wed Apr 3, 2013 10:00am EDT

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* Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on
preventive care 
* Greater Baltimore Health Alliance doctors are rewarded for improving patient
health and lowering medical costs 
* Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna case
managers

BALTIMORE--(Business Wire)--
Cigna (NYSE:CI) and the Greater Baltimore Health Alliance have launched a
collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health
care, improve care coordination, and achieve the "triple aim" of improved health
(quality), affordability and patient satisfaction. 

Greater Baltimore Health Alliance is an accountable care organization of
employed and community-based physicians affiliated with GBMC HealthCare system,
parent company of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center hospital. The program,
Cigna's first collaborative accountable care initiative in Maryland, became
effective April 1. 

Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same
population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program
will benefit approximately 3,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who
receive care from among more than 90 Greater Baltimore Health Alliance
physicians practicing at 17 locations in central Maryland. 

"Our vision is to become the health care system where everyone, every time gets
the care that we would want for our own loved ones -- the best possible health
outcomes, with the best possible care experience, with the most joy for those
providing the care, at the lowest possible cost," said Mark Lamos, M.D., Medical
Director, Greater Baltimore Health Alliance. "Through our collaboration with
Cigna, we are working to transform care to be better coordinated and to increase
value through the eyes of the patient." 

Under the program, Greater Baltimore Health Alliance physicians monitor and
coordinate all aspects of an individual`s medical care. Patients continue to go
to their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the
program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to
seek care from a doctor in the medical group will also have access to the
benefits of the program. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding
referrals to specialists. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of
the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as
diabetes or heart disease. 

"With Greater Baltimore Health Alliance, we are working to build a
patient-centered health care system that emphasizes prevention and primary care
and rewards physicians for quality of care and improved health," said Julia
Huggins, president and general manager, Cigna MidAtlantic. "A system that`s
focused on value rather than volume will ultimately lead to a healthier
population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families,
employers and doctors." 

Critical to the program`s benefits are registered nurses, employed by Greater
Baltimore Health Alliance, who serve as clinical care coordinators and help
patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health
care system. The care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case
managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between health alliance
physicians and Cigna that ultimately results in a better experience for the
individual. 

The care coordinators will enhance care by using patient-specific data from
Cigna to help identify patients being discharged from the hospital who might be
at risk for readmission, as well as patients who may be overdue for important
health screenings or who may have skipped a prescription refill. The care
coordinators are part of the physician-led care team that helps patients get the
follow-up care or screenings they need, identifies potential complications
related to medications and helps prevent chronic conditions from worsening. 

Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health
education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical support programs that may be
available to them through their employer benefit plan. 

Cigna will compensate Greater Baltimore Health Alliance physicians for the
medical and care coordination services they provide. Additionally, physicians
may be rewarded through a "pay for value" structure for meeting targets for
improving quality and lowering medical costs. 

The principles of the patient-centered medical home are the foundation of
Cigna's collaborative accountable care initiatives. Cigna then builds on that
foundation with a strong focus on collaboration and communication with physician
practices. Cigna is now engaged in nearly 60 collaborative accountable care
initiatives in 24 states, encompassing more than 650,000 Cigna customers and
more than 23,000 doctors, including more than 11,000 primary care physicians and
more than 11,500 specialists. 

Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its
goal is to have 100 of them in place with one million customers in 2014. 

About Greater Baltimore Health Alliance

The Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA) is a wholly owned Limited Liability
Company (LLC) of GBMC Healthcare, Inc. It was created to align health care
providers and achieve a triple aim of Better Health, Better Care and Less Waste.
GBHA has successfully brought more than 90 primary care providers together to
participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid`s (CMS) Shared Savings
Program. GBHA includes providers from 8 independent practices, Greater Baltimore
Medical Associates (GBMA), and Greater Baltimore Geriatric and Palliative
Medicine. The Greater Baltimore Health Alliance is one of only 260 Accountable
Care Organizations in the nation. It is one of eight operating in the State of
Maryland and the first ACO in Maryland associated with a hospital. 

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to
helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All
products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating
subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance
Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of
North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and
services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical,
dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other
related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna
maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has
approximately 78 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn
more about Cigna, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit
www.cigna.com.

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Cigna
Amy Turkington, 440-934-5385
amy.turkington@cigna.com
or
Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Michael Schwartzberg, 443-849-2126
mschwartzberg@gbmc.org

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