|CIGNA To Launch Cost Of Care Estimator
CIGNA said it is launching the CIGNA Cost of Care
Estimator: new technology that will inform patients and healthcare
professionals of the total cost to be charged for medical services
based on the individual’s specific CIGNA health plan.
The estimator’s real-time cost estimates detail
portions of the bill to be paid by the CIGNA health plan and by the
covered individuals’ sources of liability whether that is
out-of-pocket costs due toco-insurance or co-pays, or their flexible
spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings
accounts, CIGNA said.
By providing itemized cost estimates and explaining the
sources of payment, based on the individual’s specific plan, the
CIGNA Cost of Care Estimator will help people understand their benefits
and how much they owe for specific services. It will also serve as the
basis of pre-care financial discussions to help avoid after-the-fact
financial surprises, CIGNA said.
Notably, during 15 months of pre-launch market trials
the CIGNA Cost of Care Estimator enhanced the patient experience and
improved the likelihood that patients paid their bills, CIGNA said.
Unlike other proposed "real-time adjudication" payment
systems, the CIGNA Estimator informs the covered individual and
healthcare professional of the cost of services and how much will be
owed prior to services being delivered. This facilitates an up-front
financial discussion that allows for payment arrangements, anticipating
account contributions to pay for services in the future, and
discussions around treatment options. The estimator is designed to be
available for all medical services, including high-cost procedures,
Healthcare professionals can quickly obtain estimates
using their existing desktop technology, so medical practices and
hospitals need not invest in new technologies to use the CIGNA
The itemized cost estimate is generated by the
proprietary Thomson Reuter treatment cost calculation tool and backed
by its analytic and predictive modeling expertise, CIGNA said.
Address: CIGNA, Two Liberty Place, 1601 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19192; (215) 761-1000, www.cigna.com.