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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: Aug. 26, 2008
CIGNA And Dartmouth-Hitchcock Launch "Patient-Centered Medical Home" Program

CIGNA and Dartmouth-Hitchcock have launched a "patient-centered medical home" pilot program to enhance the coordination of care and improve care quality for patients covered by a CIGNA plan.

Primary care providers affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock will be paid for the medical services they provide, reimbursed an additional amount for enhanced services such as care management they provideand be rewarded through a pay-for-performance structure for improving quality and appropriate healthcare.

The program is focused on individuals who receive care from Dartmouth-Hitchcock primary care physicians practicing in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Currently, approximately 19,000 CIGNA members access care from a Dartmouth-Hitchcock primary care physician.

The patient-centered medical home model of care is designed to provide patients with a comprehensive, coordinated approach to primary care which in turn leads to improved quality and lower medical costs. In the pilot, patients, especially those with chronic illness or ongoing medical needs, will have access to enhanced care coordination, communications, appointment availability and education to help them navigate their healthcare system, while physicians will receive additional reimbursement for providing these enhanced services and supportive infrastructure.

"Our healthcare system is increasingly complex and disjointed, and the traditional physician payment structure rewards specialization and providing more care, rather than rewarding more coordinated care," said Dr. Dick Salmon, national medical director for CIGNA, himself a primary care physician. "The patient-centered medical home model is a promising approach to changing both of these dynamics while preserving primary care medicine, and we are pleased to be working with an organization like Dartmouth-Hitchcock, which has already implemented many patient-centered medical home features in its practice, to further develop the model."

"As healthcare continues to evolve, we are seeing a greater need to improve community health through the transformation of patient care to meet the unique and changing needs of the patients we serve," said Dr. Barbara Walters, senior medical director, Dartmouth-Hitchcock. "Our partnership with CIGNA to pilot the patient-centered medical home program exemplifies our ongoing mission to achieve the healthiest population by providing each person with the best care, at the right time, every time, as well as our organizations working together to set the standard for this new model of patient care."

Members will access care from one of the 391 Dartmouth-Hitchcock primary care providers participating in the pilot. There is no change in choice of primary care provider or in any plan requirements regarding referrals to see specialists.

Salmon said that emphasizing the value of the primary care physician as the overall coordinator of the health of their patients will help increase the professional satisfaction and financial rewards for doctors who practice in primary care.

Addresses: CIGNA, One Liberty Pl., 1650 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19192; (215) 761-1000, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, One Medical Center Dr., Lebanon, NH 03755; (603) 656-5000,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Physician Organizations

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