CIGNA and CareCentrix seek to reduce patient readmissions

By Mike Miliard
10:45 AM

CIGNA and CareCentrix have partnered for a pilot program that aims to curtail the growing number of hospital readmissions, providing specialized home nursing services after patient discharge.

One in five hospital discharges is complicated by an adverse event within 30 days, often leading to emergency care or re-hospitalization. To counter this, CIGNA, the global health services company, and CareCentrix, which manages home nursing, infusion and medical equipment services, have teamed up to offer the Care Transitions Program to people enrolled in a CIGNA health plan after they’ve been discharged from the hospital.

"Nobody wants to return to the hospital after they’ve been discharged, but without access to proper care and support at home, many people develop complications that can send them back within just a few weeks," said Scott Josephs, MD, national medical officer for CIGNA. "Through the Care Transitions Program we’re offering with CareCentrix we hope to decrease hospital readmissions and help people have a safe recovery at home."

The Care Transitions Program will be offered initially in Texas over the next 12 months to people enrolled in a CIGNA health plan who are identified as at-risk for hospital readmissions. The program will be extended to more people in additional locations in 2011.

The Care Transitions Program was developed in conjunction with physicians and researchers who specialize in hospital discharge and transition planning. It will provide people with clinical education, resources and guidance from nurses who will monitor and support their hospital discharge, transition and recovery at home.

The program will provide support in five key areas, including:

  • Identifying a caregiver and involving that person in the individual’s care
  • Educating individuals and their caregivers about the individual’s hospital discharge plan
  • Building awareness of the individual’s condition, signs/symptoms of the condition and what to do if the individual’s condition worsens
  • Helping individuals manage their prescriptions and other medications
  • Facilitating follow-up medical appointments

"We are excited to expand our relationship with CIGNA to bring the Care Transitions Program to the people CIGNA serves," said Eric Reimer, chief executive officer, CareCentrix. "We are leveraging our home health care expertise and extensive home care provider network to provide people with proven and timely support to ensure they successfully transition from the hospital to recovering in the comfort of their home. In addition to reducing the number of hospital readmissions, our goal is to support people enrolled in a CIGNA health plan achieve better health outcomes over the long-term."

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