Cigna, Memorial Sloan Kettering team up to coordinate care for chemotherapy patients

Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cigna and Memorial Sloan Kettering have launched a new value-based care model. (Memorial Sloan Kettering)

Cigna is teaming up with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to provide more coordinated care to patients undergoing chemotherapy. 

Cigna announced the new initiative under its Cigna Collaborative Care program, which aims to engage providers in value-based care. The program, which took effect July 1, applies to patients who are covered by a Cigna health plan and receive care from doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

The cancer center has tapped a nurse who will assist Cigna members in navigating their care and ensure care is coordinated. Cigna also has a designated point of contact, according to the announcement, who will provide needed information and input on benefits. 

Cigna will also offer members additional education and resources outside of Memorial Sloan Kettering as needed, the insurer said. 

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“Collaborating with healthcare providers is one of the most important ways we can improve health outcomes and supports our goal of providing high-quality, affordable care to the people we serve,” Dave Kobus, president for Cigna’s New York and New Jersey markets, said. 

The actual work coordinating patient care is broken into six elements, Cigna said: 

  1. Comprehensive education to allow patients and caregivers to make informed choices

  1. Discussion of symptoms and a patient’s quality of life at each visit

  1. Proactive planning for inpatient admissions, post-discharge care and post-chemotherapy care

  1. Coordination with hospice and palliative care providers

  1. Ensuring the oncologist and care coordinator are the patient’s primary contacts for referrals with 24/7 access

  1. A plan for transition back to the primary care physician once cancer treatment ends

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Elizabeth Nelkin McCormick, R.N., senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, said providing these services through a nurse coordinator offers significant opportunities for more streamlined and personal care, because nurses are on the front lines. 

“It’s our aim that this new value-based collaboration with Cigna will help create synergies that promote and enable improved outcomes for patients,” she said.