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Cigna begins ‘collaborative accountable care’ program with Loudoun Medical Group

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Health insurer Cigna Corp. and Leesburg-based Loudoun Medical Group have launched an program aimed at improving the coordination of health care.

The program, begun Oct.  1, is called “collaborative accountable care.” It represents Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.  Under the ACO model, provider reimbursements are tied to metrics on the quality of health care and reductions in the total cost of care for a population of patients.

Cigna said its program is designed to improve access to health care and enhance the coordination of care.  The program hopes to help patients become healthier and have a better patient experience while making health care more affordable.

The collaborative accountable care program will serve more than 13,000 people covered by Cigna who receive care from more than 200 Loudoun Medical Group primary-care physicians and specialists.

Under the program, Loudoun Medical Group will coordinate all aspects of patients’ care. They will be treated by their current physicians and automatically receive the benefits of the program.

Cigna said that patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Registered nurses employed by Loudoun Medical Group will serve as clinical care coordinators and help patients with chronic conditions or other health problems navigate the health-care system.

The care coordinators will use 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.

Cigna said it will compensate Loudoun Medical Group 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.

Connecticut-based Cigna has 75 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 26 states, encompassing more than 760,000 commercial customers and more than 30,000 doctors, including more than 14,000 primary care physicians and more than 16,500 specialists. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and its goal is to have 100 in place with 1 million customers by next year.

One of the largest and most diverse physician-owned, multispecialty group practices in Virginia, Loudoun Medical Group employs more than 230 health-care providers serving  181,000 patients in 83 clinical locations from Berryville to Alexandria.

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