Employers Achieve Lower Costs and Improve Health Engagement With Integrated Benefits, Cigna Study Shows
- Aon’s Cost Efficiency Measurement shows integration of medical, pharmacy and behavioral health benefits reduced total care costs by $148 per member per year
- Additional study by Cigna finds higher savings from integrated care for chronically ill beneficiaries, including more than $11,000 in reduced care costs for those taking specialty drugs for inflammatory conditions
BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Jan. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A study released today by Cigna (NYSE: CI), a global health service company, finds that triple integration of medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits resulted in lower health care costs for employers. Conducted by Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, the Value of Integration Study shows that Cigna’s integrated employer clients saved $148 per member per year in 2021.
Using a similar study method, Cigna then evaluated the financial impact of engaging employees to participate in health improvement programs, such as wellness coaching. The results show even greater client savings for Cigna integrated employer clients, exceeding $1,400 per member per year.
In addition, Cigna found that when individuals with specific high-cost conditions and therapies were enrolled in a triple-integrated health plan and needed specialty medicines, the savings for the health plan were:
- Nearly $9,000 per member per year, increasing to more than $11,000 per member when the specialty drug is for an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis; and
- Almost $17,500 per year for members who took specialty drugs and have a confirmed depression diagnosis.
“Integrated benefits provide a real-time, connected platform that enables us to anticipate our customers’ unique health needs and support them as they make important health care decisions – driving lower costs over time,” said Katy Wong, chief pharmacy officer, Cigna Pharmacy. “There is tremendous value for employers in having this holistic view across the continuum of care for their workforce. It produces significant savings on health care, which they can pass along to their employees, and it also improves the health of their workforce, which fuels productivity and business growth.”
“The measurement confirms the direct connection between integrated medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits and lower medical claims costs,” said Todor Penev, commercial analytics leader at Aon. “Employers should feel confident that integrated benefits deliver on the promise of improved health outcomes and ultimately lower the financial risk to the employer, helping build a more resilient workforce.”
Managing the cost of chronic conditions
More than 60 percent of adults in the United States live with a chronic disease, such as musculoskeletal pain or diabetes, and chronic disease is one of the leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion annual health costs. Integrated benefits can help curb the costs of chronic conditions. Cigna found that when members were enrolled in a triple-integrated health plan, the savings for the health plan were:
- Nearly $400 a year for members with a musculoskeletal diagnosis.
- More than $1,400 a year when an individual with a musculoskeletal diagnosis is engaged with a health coach.
- Nearly $2,500 per member per year with a diabetes diagnosis.
Cigna found that members with integrated benefits and support from health improvement programs need fewer emergency room visits and fewer costly invasive in-patient procedures. This includes:
- Members with diabetes have a 17% lower rate of avoidable emergency room visits.
- Members with musculoskeletal conditions experience:
- 133% lower rate of surgeries in an in-patient setting.
- 26% lower rate of opioid overdoses.
- 16% fewer interventional procedures, such as injections and biopsies.
The findings come as Cigna launches a new suite of products designed to create the type of connected care experience that achieves these savings for integrated clients. Cigna Pathwell harnesses the analytics, clinical expertise, treatment planning and personalized digital solutions within Evernorth, Cigna’s health services business, and integrates them with Cigna’s medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits management and high-performing provider networks to create a comprehensive and personalized care experience for patients living with high-cost health conditions.
“This research underscores the improved health outcomes and savings we can achieve through creating a more personalized, connected health care journey, which we’ve built with Cigna Pathwell,” said Heather Dlugolenski, senior vice president, U.S. Solutions, Cigna. “Cigna Pathwell connects customers with the providers and therapies that are best suited to their unique health conditions and – through our unparalleled data and expertise – can help anticipate their future needs to help them recover faster.”
Aon’s 2022 Value of Integration Study can be found here.
Aon Study Methodology
Aon’s 2022 Value of Integration study is based on a two-year analysis (2020-2021) of medical claims of over 2 million Cigna customers who receive coverage through their employers. Aon was independently engaged to design and perform the study. The book-of-business study leveraged Aon’s proprietary Cost Efficiency Measurement, a match case-control methodology, comparing groups of individuals who are alike (age, gender, health status and benefits) but differ in terms of their coverage of medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits.
Cigna Study Methodology
Cigna used a match case-control methodology developed at Harvard University to produce supplementary statistics on different subsets of customers (those with certain comorbidities, those who engaged in health improvement activities, etc.).
Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates, and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits and other related products.
Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 190 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.