Cigna (NYSE:CI) and physicians with Orlando Health Physician Partners have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination, and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health outcomes (quality), lower total medical costs and increased patient satisfaction. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit approximately 24,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from among approximately 532 doctors affiliated with Orlando Health in 94 practice locations around Orlando. “Providing patients with quality care and supporting them with a team from their doctor’s office focused on coordinating that care will lead to better outcomes, a more positive patient experience, and improved management of medical costs,“ said Wayne Jenkins, M.D., President, Orlando Health Physician Partners. “We believe this model of practice is the future of the health care delivery system.” Under the program, Orlando Health doctors monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual’s medical care. Patients continue to go to their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. “With this collaboration, we are helping to bring a new model of health care delivery to our customers in Orlando – one that emphasizes the value of health care services instead of the volume of care provided,” said Scott Evelyn, president and general manager for Cigna in Florida. “Orlando Health is also a leading force for this change, and so is an ideal organization for us to collaborate with.” Critical to the program’s benefits are registered nurses, employed by the physician practice, who are part of the physician-led care team and serve as clinical care coordinators. They help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. For example, they identify patients discharged from the hospital who might be at risk for readmission, help patients get the follow-up care or screenings they need, identify any issues related to medications and help prevent chronic conditions from worsening.