Cigna (NYSE: CI) and CaroMont Medical Group, a multi-specialty network of 44 physician practices within five counties and two states, 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 becomes effective today. Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit more than 3,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from CaroMont physicians. "This is a win-win-win for all of us – CaroMont Health, Cigna and our patients,” said Dr. Randall Gehle, D.O., CaroMont Family Medicine. “CaroMont and Cigna can synergistically empower our 17 Level 3 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized primary care practices to further enhance comprehensive well care and primary prevention to our patients. Patients benefit from more streamlined services using shared technology to better care for patients in a timely fashion and save everyone precious health care dollars; this is the future of medicine." “Cigna welcomes CaroMont Medical Group as we continue to expand our successful collaborative accountable care program across the Carolinas,” said Edward Hunsinger, M.D., Cigna’s senior medical director for the Carolinas. “This collaboration aims to fundamentally change the health care delivery system by rewarding physicians for results. Our mutual goal is a system of enhanced patient-centered care that is focused on prevention and wellness, resulting in a healthier population and lower medical costs.” Under the program, CaroMont Medical Group 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.