Fletcher Allen Health Care, Central Vermont Medical Center and Cigna Bring Accountable Care to Vermont

Fletcher Allen Health Care, Central Vermont Medical Center and Cigna Bring Accountable Care to Vermont

<0> CignaMark Slitt, 860-226-2092orFletcher Allen Health CareMike Noble, 802-847-2886orCentral Vermont Medical CenterSue Kruthers, 802-371-4197 </0>

Cigna (NYSE:CI), and (CVMC) have launched a programto expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to achieving the same population health goals as , or s.

Accountable care is a variation on the model of health care already in place at both Fletcher Allen and CVMC. This model rewards primary care doctors for and . Cigna's collaboration with Fletcher Allen and CVMC is one of the first patient-centered accountable care programs in Vermont involving an integrated delivery system and a health plan.

The program will benefit approximately 10,500 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan in Vermont who receive care from among 144 primary care health professionals at 21 practice locations.

“This agreement with Cigna is part of Fletcher Allen’s comprehensive strategy to be a leader in the transformation of health care,” said John Brumsted, M.D., Fletcher Allen’s president and chief executive officer. “Cigna’s program is consistent with our ongoing efforts to work with all stakeholders to make Vermont’s future health care delivery system fulfill the promise of higher quality care, improved access and reduced rates of increasing costs.”

“The joint collaboration of CVMC and Fletcher Allen with Cigna and their accountable care program is another great example of the value of the integrated delivery system that we created with Fletcher Allen Partners last October,” said Judy Tartaglia, president and chief executive officer, CVMC. “We are just beginning to see the potential that can be achieved by this system in the years ahead.”

Fletcher Allen and CVMC health care professionals will monitor and coordinate an individual’s medical care in a more comprehensive way with support from Cigna tools and information resources. Patients will continue to go to their current physician and will automatically receive the benefits of the program. There also 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.

Critical to the program’s benefits are registered nurse clinical care coordinators who help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. The care coordinators enhance care by using patient-specific data from both organizations and from Cigna to 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 will work collaboratively with the Primary Care Medical Home and Community Health Teams regionally to help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify any issues related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

The care coordinators will also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

“Through our collaborative accountable care programs, Cigna hopes to create a patient-centered health care system that emphasizes prevention and primary care while rewarding physicians for quality of care and improved health outcomes,” said Dr. Robert Hockmuth, Cigna’s senior medical director in Vermont. “A system that’s focused on delivering value rather than volume of services will ultimately result in a healthier population and lower medical costs, which is good for individuals, families, employers and doctors.”

Cigna will compensate physicians at Fletcher Allen and CVMC for the medical and care coordination services they provide. Additionally, the practice may receive performance-based payments if it meets 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 , including six multi-payer pilots and 32 Cigna-only collaborative accountable care initiatives. The collaborative accountable care initiatives encompass more than 300,000 Cigna customers and more than 4,500 primary care physicians.

Fletcher Allen and CVMC, through Vermont’s Department of Vermont Health Access, have been part of the , and both organizations incorporate the primary care medical home concept into all of their primary care practice settings.

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 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 and vision care benefits, and other related products including group disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit .

Fletcher Allen Health Care, together with our partners at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is Vermont’s academic medical center. Fletcher Allen, along with Central Vermont Medical Center, are members of Fletcher Allen Partners, established to develop a more coordinated system of care throughout the region. Fletcher Allen’s mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment. Fletcher Allen also serves as a regional referral center -- providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York -- and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. For more information about Fletcher Allen, find us online at or on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at .

Central Vermont Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization consisting of a hospital offering a full spectrum of comprehensive in-patient and out-patient care services along with 24-hour emergency care, Woodridge Rehab and Nursing, The National Life Cancer Treatment Center and 18 medical group practices. For more information about CVMC visit or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.