An accountable care effort between Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance and Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) has expanded into northern Indiana. The organizations say they will share clinical and care management information in hopes of improving health care quality and reducing costs.

January 14, 2014

News release

Mishawaka, Ind. and Chicago, Ill. — Franciscan Alliance and Cigna (NYSE: CI) have expanded their accountable care initiative aimed at improving the quality of care for Cigna customers to Northern Indiana, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The collaboration focuses on providing coordinated, cost-efficient health care to improve the overall health status of the Cigna population in Central, and now Northern Indiana.

The Franciscan Alliance Accountable Care Organization includes more than 350 physicians located throughout Northern Indiana, as well as Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region hospitals in Crown Point, Dyer, Hammond, Michigan City and Munster.

“We're pleased to expand our accountable care initiatives into a more collaborative relationship with Cigna,” Gene Diamond, chief executive officer of Franciscan Alliance's Northern Indiana Region, said, adding, “Jointly coordinating the delivery of care to cost-effectively improve the health of those we serve is the challenge we’ve embraced. We’re confident higher quality outcomes will result from this relationship.”

To achieve enhanced care coordination, healthier people, and lower overall costs for patients, the collaboration focuses on identifying and implementing long-term strategies aimed at ensuring health care remains accessible and affordable for Cigna customers in Northern Indiana. Franciscan Alliance and Cigna work together, sharing clinical and care management information to provide coordinated, comprehensive health care services. Each organization has aligned incentives to improve health care quality and patient service while reducing costs.

“This model stresses the value of care over the volume of services provided, with our organizations collaborating to improve the health and the experience of Cigna customers,” said Peter McCauley, M.D., regional medical executive for Cigna's Northeast region, which includes the Midwest. “Working together, our goal is to change the health care system from one that focuses on treating people after they are already sick into a system that emphasizes coordination, prevention and wellness. We are pleased to expand these efforts into Northern Indiana.”

The long-term goal of the initiative is to build a delivery model that improves quality through better coordination of care, while taking unnecessary or duplicative costs out of the health care system, reducing costs for Cigna customers and their employers.

Critical to the program’s success are complex case managers employed by Franciscan Alliance who are part of the physician-led care team and serve as clinical care coordinators. They help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. For example, they identify patients discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, 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 use patient-specific data from Cigna to help them identify patients in need of these services and are aligned to a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the two organizations. Care coordinators can also help patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to the Cigna health management and wellness programs that may be available to them through their employer’s benefit plan.

Cigna has 86 collaborative accountable care initiatives in 27 states, encompassing more than 880,000 commercial customers and more than 35,000 doctors, including more than 16,000 primary care physicians and more than 19,000 specialists. Cigna launched its first collaborative accountable care program in 2008 and will reach its goal to have 100 of them in place with one million customers in 2014.

Collaborative accountable care is one component of the company's approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the innovative Cigna-HealthSpringSM care model for Medicare customers. Today, well over one million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring customers benefit from more than 250 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 62,000 doctors participating, including more than 22,000 primary care physicians and more than 40,000 specialists.

About Franciscan Alliance

Franciscan Alliance is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest with 13 hospitals throughout Indiana and Illinois. Franciscan Alliance serves a geographic area with a population of 3.7 million people, provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and completes more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year. To learn more about Franciscan Alliance, visit:

About Cigna

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 by or 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, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

Sources: Franciscan Alliance, Cigna Corp.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}