|CIGNA Study: Americans With CDHPs Reduce Medical Costs Without Cutting Care
CIGNA Choice Fund account-based consumer-driven health
plans (CDHPs) reduced medical cost trend by 13 percent relative to HMO
and PPO plans, even as individuals enrolled in CDHPs use more
preventive services and comply with their medical treatments, according
to a new multi-year study that compares the healthcare claims
experience of nearly 440,000 covered by CIGNA CDHPs and traditional
HMOs and PPOs.
"In these tough economic times, it’s critical that
we all do what we can to cut medical costs without cutting care," said
CIGNA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeffery Kang. "Critics of
consumer-driven health plans contend that people will sacrifice their
health to save money; when in fact our data show that account-based
plans save money even as individuals receive the same or higher levels
of care than those in traditional health plans."
According to Dr. Kang: "In our latest study of medical
claims for 440,000 people covered by CIGNA plans, we reviewed claims
for 22,000 individuals who have either hypertension or diabetes and
found that medical cost trend was substantially less for those with
CDHPs, while their treatment regimens were the same or better than
those in traditional HMOs and PPOs."
Key findings of the 2009 CIGNA Choice Fund Experience Study include:
Chronic Conditions: Medical cost trend was
substantially less for CIGNA Choice Fund customers with diabetes (20
percent less) or hypertension (18 percent less) than for individuals
with either of those diseases in traditional CIGNA health plans.
Notably, these individuals maintained similar treatment regimens
regardless of whether they were covered by CDHP, HMO or PPO plans;
suggesting that the lower cost trend are likely a result of better
chronic disease management, rather than patients foregoing recommended
Pharmacy: In the first year, pharmacy cost trend
for those covered by CIGNA Choice Fund plans was 10 percent lower than
traditional plan cost trend, with the use of generic medications being
nearly 5 percent higher among individuals covered by CIGNA CDHPs.
Overall Medical Trend: In the first year,
normalized medical trend for CIGNA Choice Fund plans was -3.3 percent
versus 10.6 percent for traditional plans. The study also shows lower
medical trend for CDHP continues in subsequent years. People with CIGNA
Choice Fund continued to receive recommended care at compliance rates
that were similar or better than those covered by traditional CIGNA
"Not only does the data show that consumer- driven
individuals becoming smarter about their care, individuals enrolled in
CIGNA Choice Fund continued to receive recommended care at the same or
higher levels as those enrolled in traditional plans in an evaluation
of compliance with more than 300 evidence-based measures of healthcare
quality. Preventive care visits for CIGNA Choice Fund individuals were
8 percent greater when compared to traditional plans and preventive
care visits for renewal year CIGNA Choice Fund were 15 percent greater
when compared to traditional plans.
Pharmacy cost trend for those newly enrolled in CIGNA
Choice Funds was 10 percent lower than thoseenrolled in traditional
plans. When compared to the prior year, usage was higher for new CIGNA
Choice Fund individuals and average unit trend cost was lower, for
maintenance medications, suggesting that these individuals were
compliant with their medications while exercising lower-cost options
such as purchasing their medications by mail order and electing to use
Study results suggest that people with CIGNA plans are
becoming more engaged in their healthcare, with increasing numbers of
individuals turning to online information and decision support tools
offered via myCIGNA.com.
Currently an average of 55,000 individuals visit
myCIGNA.com each business day to get the most out of their healthcare
benefits. Online capabilities include CIGNA Care Connections, a
personalized online search engine that helps those with CIGNA health
plans find the highest quality and cost efficient physicians and
hospitals, conduct side-by-side cost comparisons for generic, brand
name and available therapeutic alternative medications at more than
57,000 pharmacies nationwide and locate the cost effective medical
facilities, including convenience care clinics.
Address: CIGNA, One Liberty Pl., 1650 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19192; (215) 761-1000, www.cigna.com.