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CIGNA HealthCare Continues Gains in Health Care Quality
Date:9/25/2007

CIGNA reports quality information again in 2007 to help create national

benchmarks for clinical quality among PPO plans

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Sept. 25, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CIGNA HealthCare HMO and point-of-service (POS) plans have again achieved gains in key measures of health care quality that resulted in more members receiving important preventive care and chronic care services, according to data released today by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA's annual report includes information on dozens of measures of health care quality.

For the second consecutive year, CIGNA HealthCare also provided NCQA with information on quality indicators for PPO and consumer-driven health care plans, this year encompassing 39 markets and approximately 4.3 million members. CIGNA HealthCare was the first national health plan to voluntarily commit to providing this information to NCQA, which is using the data to help establish national quality benchmarks for PPO plans.

"We have participated in NCQA's measurement and reporting on health care quality for many years and are pleased by our results this year and our record of improvement over time," said Dr. Jeffrey Kang, chief medical officer for CIGNA HealthCare. "We continue to enhance our health advocacy programs, analytics and information tools to drive these ongoing improvements, and we are pleased to extend our efforts to reach even more of our members than ever before."

For the sixth consecutive year, an internal analysis of CIGNA HealthCare's scores shows their combined national averages to be higher than both the Quality Compass(R) national average, and the average of its main competitors, for the majority of preventive and chronic care measures used by NCQA in accrediting health care plans. The national average of scores reported by CIGNA HealthCare plans in Quality Compass(R) across the "effectiveness of care" and "access/availability of care" measures included in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(R)) increased this year by 2.86% over 2006 levels. This year-over-year improvement contributes to a 19.55% improvement over the last four years. CIGNA HealthCare had notable improvements in measurements for colorectal cancer screenings, childhood and adolescent immunizations, and eye exams for people with diabetes, among other measures.

In addition to providing a wide range of health advocacy programs to help members manage and improve their health, CIGNA also conducts outreach to members who have not yet received preventive care according to established clinical guidelines, to encourage them to do so. For example, in 2006 reminder mailings were sent to over 518,000 female members to remind them to have pap tests or mammograms. Nearly 300,000 families received reminders about important childhood and adolescent immunizations, and CIGNA's colorectal cancer screening initiative was expanded to include over 320,000 members in 13 markets.

CIGNA HealthCare has a long history and record of success in seeking external validation of its quality improvement programs. Twenty-two of CIGNA HealthCare's 23 NCQA-accredited HMO and POS health plans hold Excellent Accreditation status and one plan holds Commendable status. All have earned Distinction for NCQA's Quality Plus Member Connections and Physician and Hospital Quality standards. The Member Connections standards assess a plan's Web-based and telephonic consumer decision support tools. The Physician and Hospital Quality standards assess how well a plan provides members with information about physicians and hospitals in its network to help consumers make informed health care decisions. CIGNA HealthCare will be undergoing NCQA accreditation review for its national PPO plan later this year.

For more information about CIGNA HealthCare's broad array of health and wellness programs, visit http://cigna.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=113&item=85

About CIGNA HealthCare

CIGNA HealthCare, based in Bloomfield, CT, provides medical benefits plans, dental coverage, behavioral health coverage, pharmacy benefits and products and services that integrate and analyze information to support consumerism and health advocacy. "CIGNA HealthCare" is a registered service mark of CIGNA Intellectual Property, Inc., licensed for use by CIGNA Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its operating subsidiaries, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. Products and services are provided by such operating subsidiaries, and not by CIGNA Corporation. For more information, visit http://www.cigna.com/.


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SOURCE CIGNA HealthCare
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