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Cigna and Duke Connected Care Start Collaborative Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs in North Carolina

- Customers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care
- Physicians are rewarded for improving customer health and lowering medical costs
- Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers


Cigna (NYSE: CI) has launched a collaborative care initiative in the Greater Research Triangle with Duke Connected Care, to improve access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the goal of improved health, affordability and customer experience. Duke Connected Care is a clinically integrated network consisting of physicians from Duke Medicine and select local practices. This program is now one of 10 Cigna collaborative care initiatives in the Carolinas.

Cigna Collaborative Care  is Cigna’s approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit over 10,000 individuals who are currently covered by a Cigna health plan and receive care from any of the more than 1,200 Duke and select community physicians that comprise the Duke Connected Care network.

In areas where it has already been introduced, Cigna Collaborative Care is helping to improve the health of Cigna customers while holding the line on medical costs . The programs are helping to close gaps in care, such as missed health screenings or prescription refills, reducing unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms, increasing the number of preventive health visits and improving follow-up care for people transitioning from the hospital to home.

“A customer-centered health care delivery system that emphasizes prevention and primary care, that rewards physicians for the quality of care and improved health outcomes will ultimately lead to a healthier population and lower medical costs,” said Edward Hunsinger, M.D., Cigna’s senior medical director for North Carolina.

“We’re pleased to be working with Cigna on their collaborative care program, and we look forward to continuing to deliver an outstanding level of primary and specialty care to Cigna customers,” said Devdutta Sangvai, M.D., M.B.A., executive director of Duke Connected Care and associate chief medical officer for Duke University Health System.

As part of the collaboration, Duke Connected Care will monitor and coordinate all aspects of each participating individual’s medical care. Cigna customers who continue to go to their current Duke Connected Care physician will automatically be eligible for the program’s benefits, as will individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a Duke Connected Care doctor. People who are 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. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists.

Access to Duke Connected Care’s clinical care coordinators is one of the key benefits of the program. Care coordinators help people with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. Duke Connected Care’s care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the medical group and Cigna—providing a better experience.

Care coordinators are part of the physician-led care team that help people get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify potential complications related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening. Care coordinators can also help individuals schedule appointments and provide them with health education and referrals to Cigna’s clinical support programs, which include disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, as well as lifestyle management programs such as those for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

Cigna has been at the forefront of the accountable care organization movement since 2008 and now has 114 Cigna Collaborative Care arrangements  with large physician groups that span 28 states, reach more than 1.2 million commercial customers and encompass more than 48,000 doctors, including more than 23,000 primary care physicians and more than 25,000 specialists.

Cigna Collaborative Care is one component of the company’s approach to physician engagement for health improvement, which also includes the innovative Cigna-HealthSpring® care model for Medicare customers. Today, more than 1.5 million Cigna and Cigna-HealthSpring customers benefit from nearly 280 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 79,000 doctors participating, including more than 33,000 primary care physicians and more than 46,000 specialists.

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 85 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit .


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