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Cigna Collaboration Helps Santa Clara County IPA (SCCIPA) Improve Quality and Lower Costs



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SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The latest results from a collaboration between Cigna and Santa Clara
County IPA (SCCIPA) show that the program continues to drive better
health care quality for nearly 18,000 Silicon Valley residents while
achieving significantly better affordability.

SCCIPA enhances care by using patient-specific data from Cigna to help
identify individuals being discharged from the hospital who might be at
risk for readmission, as well as people who may be overdue for important
health screenings or who may have skipped a prescription refill. The
physician-led care team also helps patients get the follow-up care or
screenings they need, identifies potential complications related to
medications and helps prevent chronic conditions from worsening.

While SCCIPA already beats the market in affordability with total
medical costs that are 18 percent below market average, the medical
group’s cost trend was 2.6 percent lower than the market trend during
the period ending Sept. 30, 2018.

At the same time, the group’s quality score improved by double digits –
nearly 20 percentage points, led by better care of patients with cardiac
conditions, diabetes, depression and those requiring specific preventive

Numerous factors contributed to SCCIPA’s strong performance results
compared to the market, including:

  • Hospital readmissions were 23 percent lower than market
  • Inpatient admissions among all services were 10 percent lower than
  • Emergency room visits were 9 percent lower than market
  • Advanced imaging (CT scans and MRIs) were used 32 percent less than
  • Inpatient total medical cost (per Cigna customer per month) was 20
    percent lower than market

“As a risk-bearing network of more than 800 physicians, we’re very
pleased with these positive results,” said John Kersten Kraft, M.D.,
president of SCCIPA. “SCCIPA is devoted to improving the measurable
quality of medical intervention received by our patients while
controlling the cost of their care. We value our strong and
exceptionally collaborative relationship with Cigna. Without this
relationship, these results could not be achieved. Together, we are
having a very positive impact on the health of our patients.”

“When health plans and health care providers work together toward a
common goal, the result is better health and affordability for the
people we jointly serve,” said Ken Phenow, M.D., M.P.H, market medical
executive for Cigna in Northern California. “We congratulate Santa Clara
County IPA for its laser focus on quality improvement that drove these
outstanding results.”

Since Cigna began collaborating with SCCIPA in 2014, the group has
demonstrated some of the most consistent performance, not only among
other medical groups in Northern California and Cigna’s Western Region,
but also among the more than 225 Collaborative Care arrangements Cigna
has with provider groups nationwide. In 2018, SCCIPA was the top
performing Cigna Collaborative Care group nationally.

In addition to its Collaborative Care arrangement with Cigna, SCCIPA is
also part of an alliance between Cigna and Good Samaritan Health System,
which includes Regional Medical Center of San Jose and Good Samaritan
Hospital. The alliance launched in January 2018 and offers a customized
network of primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals that provide
high value care.

About Santa Clara County IPA

Santa Clara County IPA (SCCIPA) has been providing exceptional
healthcare services for more than 30 years. More than 240 primary care
physicians and 600 specialists are focused on delivering the highest
quality of care, while driving lower cost of care for more than 90,000
members of major HMOs, PPOs, ACOs and Medicare Advantage programs.
SCCIPA’s mission is to connect patients to independent doctors who are
passionate about providing personalized care. The diverse network
includes access to 13 urgent care centers, 10 hospitals, radiology,
clinical labs, physical therapists, and case managers dedicated to
providing care with a purpose. SCCIPA offers a multitude of services for
members and is known for its Care Concierge program. The program is led
by a team of clinicians and is designed to engage patients and promote
healthy habits, behavioral change, improved health, and ultimately lower
cost of care by helping members be at their best. Visit

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) 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
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, Life Insurance Company of
North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, 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 including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna
maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and
has more than 160 million customer relationships throughout the world.
To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on
Facebook or Twitter, visit


Mark Slitt

Janet Doherty Pulliam
Pacific Partners Management Services, Inc.


One Year of Medical Cannabis in the UK, Data by Grow Biotech



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The 1st of November 2019 will mark the one year anniversary of the legalisation of medical cannabis in the United Kingdom. A year after Charlotte Caldwell’s tireless campaign to obtain life-saving medication for her son Billy catapulted medical cannabis onto the public agenda, the cost of prescriptions has dropped substantially while the number of scripts written has increased, but more needs to be done before it can be more widely offered by the National Health Service (NHS).

The average price of a month’s supply of medical cannabis imported through Logist has dropped from £750 to £550, reducing the average monthly prescription cost by 27%, while the average price per gram has also fallen by 25%. The reduction in cost is a combination of increased volume (meaning the costs associated with importing products is lower per prescription) and the increased availability of different products.

The type of medical specialist consultants writing prescriptions for medical cannabis has also diversified to include pain, oncology and neurology. There has also been a broadening in the delivery method for medical cannabis requested by specialist consultants to include different cannabis oils, pills and flowers, which is largely a result of the greater range of products available. Since February, Logist has imported approximately 1.5kg of flower to the UK.

The vast majority of medical cannabis has made its way to the UK thanks to Logist, a joint-venture formed between specials importer IPS Pharma, and Grow Biotech, the UK’s leading medical cannabis market access specialists.

Timeline of Events

  • 1st November 2018 – New regulations introduced, which allowed for the import and prescription of cannabis-based medicines
  • 14 February 2019 – The first bulk import of medical cannabis in the UK and first patients to receive medication from Logist
  • May 2019 – EU based bio-pharmaceutical company MGC Pharma appoints Logist
  • August 2019 – NICE publish interim report on medical cannabis
  • August 2019 – American medical cannabis giant Columbia Care announces that it will fund and provide medicine for clinical trials in the UK
  • September 2019– Leading Canadian company Aurora appoints IPS Pharma and Grow Biotech as importer and distributor for the UK market
  • September 2019 – Medical cannabis consultant informs Logist that a patient is no longer using opioids to manage their condition following treatment with medical cannabis

Looking forward to the near future, Chief Operating Officer of Grow Biotech, Hari Guliani, said, “Over the next twelve months we expect the UK’s medical community as a whole to take on the challenge of understanding how cannabis might help their patients. We are expecting leading consultants to publish papers on the impact they have seen on their patients, as well as evidence gathered through MHRA-approved trials. This will significantly improve the data available to regulators, policymakers and NICE.”

At present, it is only available on the NHS in extremely limited circumstances and is only obtainable through a prescription written by a specialist consultant in the private sector. NICE (The National Institute of Health Care Excellence) has advised that more clinical trials need to be undertaken in the UK and overall costs of medication need to be reduced before medical cannabis can be prescribed by NHS consultants. However, new medical trials are now underway and prices associated with the import of medical cannabis are falling dramatically, giving hope to the thousands of patients who are still struggling to access life-changing medication.

Another major change which cannot be overlooked is funding for the UK’s young medical cannabis industry. Ben Langley, Chief Executive Officer of Grow Biotech explained that, “We have seen a massive increase in funding for UK businesses operating within the medical cannabis space, especially from North America. In addition to the £5m Grow Biotech has raised over the last two years, there have been notably well received fundraises for Emmac Life Sciences PLC (£11m raised in March 2019) and for Oxford Cannabinoid Therapeutics ($10m in April 2019). This trend is likely to accelerate as European medical cannabis gradually establishes itself as an attractive asset class for global capital and European equity exchanges start to open their doors to cannabis companies.

Both Ben Langley and Hari Guliani are available for comment and interview.


SOURCE Grow Biotech

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GNCC Capital, Inc. – Pending Transaction




GNCC Capital, Inc. (OTC: GNCP) (“The Company” or “GNCC”) advises that the new Board of Directors is in the process of consummating a further transaction in the Cannabis Sector and in South Africa.

Given that this is a related party transaction; they are awaiting ratification from an Independent party.

Upon consummation of this transaction; the new GNCC Directors will actively engage with shareholders. This decision was taken given that this transaction materially affects the size and scope of the Company’s South African Cannabis interests.

We reiterate that both Ms. Allen and Mr. Cox have recognized the need to; and have committed to expend the next two to three weeks in shareholder engagement. This is to ensure that all shareholders and investors become familiar with the Company’s new business operations, opportunities, Licensing and the Cannabis Industry in South Africa.

Forward-Looking Statements:-This press release may contain forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “expect,” “should,” “intend,” “estimate,” “projects,” variations of such words and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that a statement is not a forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements are based upon the Company’s current expectations and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements are risks that are detailed in the Company’s filings, which are on file with the OTC Markets Group.

SOURCE GNCC Capital, Inc.

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Empower Clinics Provides Corporate Updates Highlighting Triple Digit Patient Growth and Subsidiary Sun Valley Health Launches New Modalities and Patient Services




EMPOWER CLINICS INC. (CSE: CBDT) (OTC: EPWCF) (Frankfurt 8EC) (“Empower” or the “Company“), a vertically integrated and growth-oriented CBD life sciences company, a multi-state operator of medical health & wellness clinics, a CBD product producer and operator of an extraction facility in Oregon, is pleased to announce it is launching seven new modalities and services for patients in the Sun Valley Health clinics commencing Monday October 14th, 2019.

The Company also has patient visits in corporate clinics increase by triple digits, with September 2019 patients seen increasing by 307% to 1,884 versus September 2018 with 614 patients seen.

“The tremendous year-over-year increase in patient visits is a testament to the operating strengths and patient management demonstrated by our clinic team members, each and every day,” said Steven McAuley, CEO of Empower. “Their passion for patient wellbeing and the use of numerous communication tools ensures world-class service is provided throughout the entire patient journey.”

As part of the Company’s continued expansion of our health & wellness clinic model, we have already set up retail CBD product sales in-clinic, and now we have launched expanded physician based services.

New Modalities and Services

  • Physician’s CBD Enhanced Massage, Acupuncture, or Cupping Sessions
  • CBD-Cannabis-Supplement Consumption & Coaching Consultation
  • Introduction to Alternative Health and Cannabinoid Therapies by a Physician
  • Comprehensive Naturopathic Patient Analysis & Consultation
  • Dietary Antigen Testing, Physician Consultation/Action Plan, & Concierge Blood Draw
  • Neurotransmitter (urine) Profile & Physician Consultation/Action Plan
  • Spectracell Micronutrient Test & Physician Consultation/Action Plan

“By offering our new suite of laboratory testing, alternative health consulting, and CBD therapies we are able to address the needs of our current patients and serve the community outside of cannabis that are seeking alternative health care,” states Dustin Klein, Director & VP Business Development. “Incorporating our new modalities, high quality vitamins, supplements, and CBD products into our network of clinics is a natural progression toward our goal of becoming the nation’s premier alternative healthcare provider.”

Additional UPDATES

  • New Modalities and Patient Services The Company continues to see patient visits in corporate clinics increase by triple digits, with September 2019 patients seen increasing by 307% to 1,884 over July 2018 614 patients seen.

  • Sun Valley Health Franchise Sun Valley Health has been actively participating in various franchise and cannabis expos in St. LouisChicago and Houston to market the Sun Valley Health franchise program, attracting numerous qualified candidates for available territory locations. The Company has accepted many applications and has provided the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) to qualified applicants in anticipation of completing the first initial territory sales.


SOURCE Empower Clinics Inc.

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