Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Scottsdale Health Partners (SHP), a physician-led clinically integrated network, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the “ triple aim” of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The program is effective July 1. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit nearly 4,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from SHP’s network of 480 primary care doctors and specialists. “Scottsdale Health Partners doctors and clinical team collaborate to deliver coordinated, effective, quality care, ensuring individuals’ medical needs are being addressed while maintaining their health and well-being,” said Bobbi Presser, executive, SHP Clinical Integration. “We are committed to patient-centered care and our approach is consistent with Cigna's commitment to changing the focus from volume of care to quality and value of care.” “We hope to fundamentally change the health care delivery system by rewarding physicians for results and the value of the care they provide,” said John Keats, M.D., Cigna’s senior medical director for Arizona. “A patient-centered system that’s focused on prevention and wellness, combined with the right incentives for physicians, will ultimately result in a healthier population and lower medical costs. That’s good for individuals, families, employers and doctors.” Under the program, Scottsdale 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.