Employees at Springfield Regional Medical Center bow their heads as a prayer is read after the new Mercy Health sign is unveiled on the front of hospital. Bill Lackey/Staff

Mercy, Cigna partner to keep patients healthier

Mercy Health and insurer Cigna have partnered for a new program designed to improve care of chronic conditions and provide additional resources to patients who might be at risk for re-admission after being discharged from a hospital.

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Cigna officials said the program will primarily target patients in Cincinnati, but it’s possible some patients in Springfield could be affected, said Courtney Nogas, a spokeswoman for Cigna. The program would cover individuals who receive care from Mercy Health physicians but are covered by a Cigna health insurance plan.

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“This program is physician-driven, and the focus is largely in the Cincinnati area, but if a customer is referred by a participating physician that is providing treatment at an aligned Springfield area facility (Springfield Regional Medical Center) then the collaborative care program is impacted,” Nogas said in an email to the News-Sun.

It is not clear how many Clark or Champaign County patients might benefit from the program, Nogas said. Information from Cigna showed there are about 5,000 individuals who are covered by a Cigna health plan and receive care from Mercy Health physicians in the Cincinnati area.

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Under the agreement, nurse care coordinators from Mercy will work with patients to receive follow-up screenings and access educational resources related to their care. Mercy’s coordinators will be aligned with case managers at Cigna to ensure cooperation between the entities and provide a better experience for patients, according to information from Cigna.

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The collaborative care program is designed to improve health care for patients by helping prevent issues such as missed health screenings or prescription refills, boosting the number of preventative health visits and improving follow-up care for patients, according to information from Cigna.

Cigna has more than 200 similar agreements with primary care physician groups, according to the insurance company.