Regional Cancer Care Associates and Cigna Collaborate to Improve Care for People Undergoing Chemotherapy


HACKENSACK, N.J.–()–Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Regional
Cancer Care Associates LLC
(RCCA) have started a program that aims
to improve care for people receiving chemotherapy to treat any type of

“Establishing this relationship with Cigna, and
using new technologies like COTA that precisely measure variance in
clinical and cost outcomes, will improve cancer care so that we can
deliver better quality of life and a better experience for our patients
each time they interact with our clinical team.”

The program is an extension of Cigna
Collaborative Care
, a value-based initiative that uses incentives to
engage health care professionals and help drive improved health,
affordability and patient experience. Cigna Collaborative Care initially
focused on large primary care physician groups but was expanded
to include hospitals, small primary care practices and specialists,
including oncologists.

The arrangement encourages RCCA to follow evidence-based medicine
guidelines for cancer care and to use COTA, Inc., an industry-leading
oncology analytics company that tracks the quality of care and
associated costs. In addition, the practice will expand access to daily
acute care with same day appointment availability, after-hours access
and after-hours clinical advice, including 24/7 access to clinical
triage staff.

RCCA will designate a registered nurse or an advanced care practitioner
as the group’s oncology care coordinator who will assist patients and
ensure their care is properly coordinated.

Cigna will compensate the medical group with a one-time care management
payment for each of its patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. This
incentive reimburses the group for its additional oversight and
management of patient care.

Cigna will also provide a single point of contact – a collaborative care
associate – who will assist the medical practice’s oncology care
coordinator with information about a Cigna customer’s benefits. Cigna
will also provide oncology case management services for customers and
their families who might need additional education or coordination of
resources outside of the oncology practice.

Cigna plans to launch a similar program soon with an oncology practice
in Florida, and expects to have up to eight of these arrangements in
place by the end of 2015.

“We’ve seen great results
from our collaborative care arrangements with large physician groups,”
said Ronald Menzin, M.D., senior medical director for Cigna in New
Jersey. “Now we’re applying that successful model – which includes a
care coordinator employed by the medical practice, and incentives that
compensate physicians for the value of the care they deliver – to drive
similar improvements in quality and cost of oncology care.”

“The need to bring value to the health care system by avoiding under and
over utilization is essential to optimize patient outcomes and reduce
overall cost of care,” said Andrew Pecora, M.D., president of Regional
Cancer Care Associates. “Establishing this relationship with Cigna, and
using new technologies like COTA that precisely measure variance in
clinical and cost outcomes, will improve cancer care so that we can
deliver better quality of life and a better experience for our patients
each time they interact with our clinical team.”

The care coordination component of Cigna Collaborative Care for oncology
consists of six components, with RCCA managing the treatment and Cigna
providing extra support and information to help:

  • Informed decision making regarding treatment, which helps patients and
    care givers understand when therapy is or isn’t curative; provides
    treatment options and information about toxicity, cost and
    effectiveness of treatment; initiates conversations with patients and
    families about functional status, advanced care, end of life wishes;
    and facilitates access to palliative and/or hospice care when
  • Holistic evaluation of the symptoms and quality of life at each
  • Proactive care coordination, which includes inpatient management and
    discharge planning for all admissions; care planning and post therapy
    outreach to ensure individuals have access to prescriptions,
    understand side effects and know when and who to call if there are
    changes in health status; patient education and help with future
  • Hospice care coordination, which assists patients and families with
    end of life planning and palliative care services.
  • Access and referral coordination, where the oncologist and the
    collaborative care coordinator are the primary contact for the patient
    while in treatment, with 24×7 access to a practice affiliated
    clinician, and proactive communication with the individual’s primary
    care physician and other health care providers.
  • Transition of care back to the primary care physician by providing the
    patient and the primary care physician with a discharge summary and
    discharge plan which includes diagnosis, summary of clinical status,
    list of medications and recommendations for ongoing observation.

About Regional Cancer Care Associates

Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), one of the largest
oncology physician networks in the U.S., is transforming oncology care
by ensuring patients and their caregivers are an active part of the
treatment team in all aspects of the management of their disease in a
way that is life-enriching and respectful. RCCA extends across New
Jersey with more than 100 cancer care specialists and is supported by
700 employees at 25 care delivery sites, providing care to more than
23,000 new patients annually and over 240,000 existing patients. RCCA
takes responsibility to ensure access to the highest quality,
compassionate and cutting-edge cancer care for its patients while
controlling the cost of this 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 more than 86 million customer relationships
throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to
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