The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Business Wire

The Polyclinic and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs in Puget Sound Area

<ul> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> Consumers benefit from improved care coordination and greater emphasis on preventive care </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> Primary care doctors are rewarded for improving patient health and lowering medical costs </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> Program includes registered nurse care coordinators aligned with Cigna case managers </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> Cigna's second accountable care initiative in the Puget Sound area </li> </ul>

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Polyclinic and Cigna Start Accountable Care Program to Improve Health and Lower Costs in Puget Sound Area

13:00 EDT Monday, October 21, 2013

SEATTLE (Business Wire) -- Cigna (NYSE:CI) and The Polyclinic have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The program became effective October 1 and is Cigna's second accountable care initiative in the region.

Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from The Polyclinic's 175 primary care doctors and specialists.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Cigna to offer a shared savings accountable care option to area businesses looking to better manage their health care costs,” said Lloyd David, executive director and CEO at The Polyclinic, one of the leading multispecialty physician groups in the Seattle area and the only one that's physician-owned and led. “By putting more resources toward partnering with patients and helping them better manage their health, we can help deliver a lower total cost of care. In this scenario, everyone wins: employers, insurers, providers, and especially, patients.”

“Our aim is to change the health care delivery system for the benefit of individuals, families, employers and health care professionals,” said Peter B. Welch, president of Cigna HealthCare of the Pacific Northwest. “When we focus on prevention, wellness and better care coordination, and reward physicians for results, we'll have a healthier population and lower medical costs.”

Under the program, The Polyclinic will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a Polyclinic doctor will also have access to the benefits of the program. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. 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.

Critical to the program's benefits are registered nurses, employed by The Polyclinic, who will serve as clinical care coordinators and help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. The care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the medical group and Cigna, which will ultimately provide a better experience for the individual.

The care coordinators will enhance care by using 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. The care coordinators are part of the physician-led care team that will help patients 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 patients schedule appointments, provide health education and refer patients to Cigna's clinical support programs, such as disease management programs for diabetes, heart disease and other conditions; and lifestyle management programs, such as programs for tobacco cessation, weight management and stress management.

Cigna will compensate The Polyclinic for the medical and care coordination services it provides. Additionally, The Polyclinic may be rewarded through a “pay for value” structure if it meets targets for improving quality and lowering medical costs.

The principles of the patient-centered medical home are the foundation of Cigna's collaborative accountable care initiatives. Cigna then builds on that foundation with a strong focus on collaboration and communication with physician practices. 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 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 240 engaged physician relationships across 31 states, with more than 58,000 doctors participating, including more than 20,000 primary care physicians and nearly 38,000 specialists.

About The Polyclinic

The Polyclinic is made up of 175 physicians, including internal medicine, family medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, and 24 additional medical and surgical specialties at a dozen locations in and around Seattle. Since its inception in 1917, The Polyclinic's mission has been to promote the health of its patients through high-quality, comprehensive and personalized care. For more information 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

Mark Slitt, 860-226-2092
The Polyclinic
Karen Johnson, 206-860-4517

  • Globe Unlimited

    Digital all access pass across devices. subscribe

  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper

    Newspaper delivered to your doorstep. subscribe

  • Globe2Go

    The digital replica of our newspaper. subscribe

  • Globe eBooks

    A collection of articles by the Globe. subscribe

See all Globe Products

Advertise with us

Your number one partner for reaching Canada's Influential Achievers. learn more

The Globe at your Workplace
Our Company
Secure Service
Customer Service
Advertising Privacy
Globe Recognition
Mobile Apps
Other Sections