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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 23, 2009
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, CIGNA said.

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 Estimator tool.

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,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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