Cigna ACO Showing Higher Quality, Lower Costs in First Year

CONCORD, N.H. & BLOOMFIELD, Conn., December 11, 2013 – Cigna today is reporting on the first-year results from its collaborative accountable care initiative with Granite Healthcare Network (GHN), a partnership among five independent charitable health care organizations in New Hampshire.

According to a Cigna release, the program is making strides toward achieving its goals of improved healthaffordability and patient experience.They also say the initiative has helped GHN deliver a higher level of care in New Hampshire while controlling total medical costs for its 30,000 patients who are covered by a Cigna health plan.

Cigna noted that when the program started last year, it evaluated how well GHN followed nationally recognized evidence based medicine guidelines (a measure of quality) and determined that GHN’s performance was at parity with the New Hampshire market. However, they say, that in just one year, GHN has improved those quality results one percent and is now better than the market. This was driven by improvements in a number of quality measures, including better-than-market quality results for cervical and breast cancer screening, adolescent well care, diabetes care and child access to primary care doctors. In addition, during the first year of the initiative, GHN improved its rate for closing gaps in care by two percent.

Cigna has found that, during the year, GHN’s medical cost trend was 1.2 percentage points better than the New Hampshire market (GHN 3.7 percent, market 4.9 percent), and they say this successful bending of the cost curve was driven by a number of factors, including:

  • Emergency room cost trend reduced by 8 percent
  • Emergency room use reduced by 4 percent
  • Advanced imaging (MRI and CT) cost trend reduced by 4 percent
  • Advanced imaging (MRI and CT) use reduced by 7 percent

See for more details.

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