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FCS and Cigna Create New Initiative Focused on Better Patient Experience

Dylann Cohn-Emery
Published Online:4:49 PM, Fri August 23, 2019
Lucio Gordan, MD
Lucio Gordan, MD
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has announced an oncology-focused initiative with Cigna as a part of the Cigna Collaborative Care. The program, launched in July, is called the Cigna Oncology Focus program. Its main goal is to provide quality care and contain costs for people with cancer.

“With the Cigna Oncology Focus program, patients benefit from 2 significant program enhancements,” president and managing physician for FCS, Lucio Gordan, MD, said in a statement. “Those changes involve the inclusion of all categories of cancer diagnoses, versus a previous focus of breast, lung and colorectal cancers, leukemia and lymphoma. Also, the program includes the availability of additional therapy treatments for more types of cancers than previously.”

FCS and Cigna announced their partnership in 2015, and later started the first phase of their collaborative care arrangement. This included FCS giving patients access to oncology-certified nurses to assist them and provide appropriate care coordination 24/7, which would help manage treatment. Cigna provided extra support, education, and information to help reduce emergency room visits and hospitalization.

“Cigna has been an instrumental payer as our pioneer value-based care partner, since 2016, when we started our initial program,” Sarah Cevallos, FCS’ chief revenue cycle officer, said in a statement. “Through our collaboration, we have had tremendous success learning from each other with results that have shown a 28% lower inpatient admission rate compared to typical hospital admission rates of cancer patients outside of a value-based model of care like this. This next-generation program builds upon this success and we are thrilled to expand this partnership even further to touch more Cigna patients.”

Cigna Collaborative Care, which this new program is a part of, is structured around value-based care and uses incentives to encourage healthcare professionals to improve affordability, as well as patients’ health and overall experience.

"Our priority is to ensure high quality care for our customers who are going through a difficult journey, and we continue to see substantial improvements in patient experience and efficiency from our collaborative with Florida Cancer Specialists," Michael Howell, MD, market medical executive for Cigna in Florida, said in a statement. "Our successful model includes a care coordinator to help patients get the follow-up care they need, great clinical outreach, and incentives that compensate physicians for the value of the care they deliver.”

FCS, which is recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), provides patients with access to more clinical trials than the private oncology practices in Florida. It is one of the largest medical oncology/hematology practices in the United States, with over 230 physicians, 220 advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, and almost 100 locations in their network for their community-based care.

“We are committed to continuously supporting our patients,” FCS CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA, said in a statement. “We recognize that a collaborative approach to managing cancer care works, allowing us to increase the best possible patient outcomes and experience.”

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