By integrating medical, pharmacy and behavioural benefits into one holistic package, healthcare is more simple, more predictable and more affordable, says Cigna Pharmacy’s Senior Vice-President Matt Totterdale.
Following a two-year analysis of more than 2.2 million medical claims for Cigna customers who received coverage through their employer, Cigna has released its Value of Integration study, which, ultimately, highlights how employers that utilised Cigna’s integrated medical, pharmacy and comprehensive behavioral benefits saw a considerable return on investment in terms of cost, engagement and overall health outcomes of members.
According to the study, on average, Cigna clients recognised savings of US$227 annually per customer (sliding up to $4,741 annually per customer for individuals identified as having a health improvement opportunity) when offering Cigna’s integrated benefits.
Cigna also reports that savings can be even more significant when looking at customers living with high-cost conditions: the study shows total medical cost savings of more than $6,700 for individuals with an oncology diagnosis and more than $2,700 for individuals with a diabetes diagnosis.
“Through effective contracting with pharmaceutical manufacturers, collaborating with providers, proactively engaging customers and acting on real-time data and insights, we're able to get ahead of gaps in care and drive meaningful interventions,” asserted Totterdale.
What’s more, Cigna’s study reveals that customers are considerably more engaged in their health through the integrated benefit offering.
Specifically, the study found that engagement was higher for customers living with depression (21 per cent), diabetes (11 per cent) or an oncology diagnosis (10 per cent), as well as there being a 25-per-cent-higher customer engagement in Cigna programmes such as counselling, lifestyle or wellness coaching, smoking cessation, and case management for more complex conditions.
And why is engagement so important? As Cigna notes, engaged customers are less likely to have emergency room visits (which, once again, prevents unnecessary costs), and are more likely to use in-network, high-performing providers.
Preventative screening processes are also more achievable when customers are engaged. Cigna notes that this ‘holistic approach’ removes barriers to care and improves accuracy of diagnoses.
Commenting on the positives of an integrated and holistic approach to healthcare, Totterdale said: “We are by their [customers’] side, helping them take steps to achieve their best health – body and mind. This total healthcare approach eliminates those gaps, helping to protect against surprise costs and driving better outcomes for our customers.”
Elsewhere, in the IPMI sphere, a new study from Aetna International highlights that expats are expecting more from their healthcare providers, and that they’d consider buying additional cover (and even moving country) if it meant they could be confident they’d have better healthcare access.