Cigna's new service company targets value-based care

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Cigna created a new service company, CareAllies Inc., to help providers achieve success under a variety of value-based and risk-sharing models, ease their administrative burden across payers and even launch their own health plans.

Payers and providers are more apt than ever to pursue collaborative, strategic relationships as health reform and the transition to value-based care offer greater incentives to work together to improve outcomes and cut costs. 

CareAllies, which will be a wholly owned subsidiary, will combine assets, resources and talent from Cigna, QualCare Alliance Networks Inc. and Cigna-HealthSpring's management services division for independent physician associations, according to an announcement.

In its efforts to help physician practices and delivery systems move from volume to value, the CareAllies subsidiary will focus on advisory and management services, technology and analytics.

"We will meet provider organizations where they are with the services and capabilities they need," CareAllies President Julian Harris, M.D., said in the announcement. "Some will need us to provide or build core capabilities, and we will also work collaboratively with provider clients that already have those capabilities in place to help them achieve greater physician alignment and clinical integration."

Cigna already has extensive experience in accountable care, as it now has 150 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements with large physician practices, the announcement notes. It also has partnered with a health system in California to introduce HMO and EPO plans and is working with Seton Health Plan to create a group health plan in Texas.

The creation of CareAllies comes as major health insurers are increasingly expanding their business models beyond simply reimbursing for care. UnitedHealth, in particular, continues to invest in its health services arm Optum. Potential merger partners Aetna and Humana as well as Anthem and Cigna also are looking to expand pharmacy benefits management capabilities.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement