Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Village Health Partners, a nationally-recognized primary care practice serving more than 40,000 patients throughout North Texas through two locations, 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), affordability and 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 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from a Village Health Partners physician. The program with Village Health Partners is Cigna's third such collaboration in North Texas and its sixth in the state. “As a primary care practice, nothing is more important to our organization than helping the communities we serve thrive by engaging our patients through preventive care and education,” said Dr. Christopher Crow, co-founder of Village Health Partners. “Cigna's commitment to changing the paradigm from volume to value fits with the vision we have at Village Health Partners.” Under the program, Village Health Partners monitors and coordinates all aspects of an individual’s medical care. Patients continue to go to their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a doctor in the medical group will also have access to 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. Critical to the program’s benefits are clinical care coordinators, employed by Village Health Partners, who help patients with chronic conditions or other health challenges navigate the health care system. The care coordinators are aligned with a team of Cigna case managers to ensure a high degree of collaboration between the medical group and Cigna that ultimately results in a better experience for the individual.