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Published on Feb 12, 2013
Dr. Dick Salmon, national medical director for performance measurement and improvement at Cigna, and Dr. Jim Sams, chief medical officer for Piedmont Healthcare's South Region, discuss how Cigna's collaborative accountable care initiative is changing the relationship between physician practices and health plans.
Collaborative accountable care is focused on the "triple aim" - better quality of care, lower cost of care and greater patient satisfaction with care. The goal is to change the way health care is delivered and paid for, from a system that's focused on volume (paying doctors for performing more services) to one that's focused on value.
Dr. Salmon explains that the program has several key elements: alignment of incentives so that doctors are rewarded for improving quality, cost and patient satisfaction; clinical care coordinators, who are employed by physician practices to help their patients manage and improve their health; patient-specific data that Cigna shares with care coordinators to identify individuals who may have gaps in their care; and integration with Cigna's 3,000 clinicians who can help with programs for chronic condition management, weight loss, stress management and tobacco cessation.
Dr. Sams says that during the first year of the program, Piedmont improved care for its diabetes patients. He concludes, "We're all going to have to reengage in a new and different way, and this is the start."