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Oct 6, 2023
Digital experience drives a more holistic approach to health and wellness

Quick Take

  • myCigna empowers Cigna Healthcare members to get the most from their health benefits.
  • New digital solution in partnership with Virgin Pulse enables customers to set goals to improve their health.
  • New functions on MDLIVE adds more virtual treatment support for both patients and doctors.

Digital technology is ingrained in our lives. Consumers spent an average of more than 4.5 hours a day on mobile devices in 2022, according to a recent study, while their usage of social platforms increased substantially, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults watched connected TV.

What’s more, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and other companies are shaping what consumers demand of their digital experiences. Today’s consumers expect seamless, connected, and personalized digital experiences in all parts of their lives – including health care. Today, 90% of U.S. adults use at least one digital health tool. And while digital can never fully overtake the health care experience, it can complement in-person care to help drive down costs, make care more personalized, and improve health outcomes

“We are truly at a pivotal moment in health care,” said Heather Dlugolenski, U.S. commercial strategy officer at Cigna Healthcare. “As people increasingly take charge of their own health, we see many opportunities with digital to improve the overall health care experience, lower the costs of care, and drive greater access to care. Additionally, the data gleaned from digital engagement informs a more real-time dialogue with patients and allows us to be more proactive and relevant in care delivery.”

There is no shortage of digital innovation happening at Cigna Healthcare. Read on to learn some of the ways we are driving a more holistic approach to health and wellness through the use of digital technology.

Anytime access to health plan support and information

The myCigna member portal, which is accessible online and via a mobile app, is designed to empower Cigna Healthcare members to get the most from their health plan through holistic, seamless support for the whole family. Members can use the portal to find care, view claims, manage their spending accounts, and access their digital ID cards.

The app also provides users with 24/7 live chat for real-time support, including answering questions about coverage or a recent claim, for example. The portal’s provider directory contains more than 7 million reviews and recommendations from verified patients, offering members added insight when choosing a doctor or other health care professional. Unlike the web-based reviews found on Yelp, Google, or Healthgrades, providers cannot pay for or promote reviews, so members can feel confident in their research.

Members can also use myCigna to:

  • Estimate medical costs before receiving care
  • Manage prescriptions and have them delivered to their home
  • Take a health assessment, set goals, and earn incentives

A comprehensive, personalized digital experience driven by real-time insights and individual outcomes

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Cigna Healthcare recently announced a new partnership with Virgin Pulse to offer a connected and more personalized health experience to support the health and vitality of more than 11 million Cigna Healthcare commercial health plan customers. Virgin Pulse is considered the world’s largest comprehensive digital health activation and engagement company. The new digital solution, available on myCigna, is part of Cigna Healthcare’s commitment to empower individuals – and workforces as a whole – to develop healthier habits and routines. Through the platform, customers can set goals to improve their health, and track their progress by connecting a compatible fitness device, like an Apple Watch, or by inputting daily health metrics such as current weight, number of minutes exercised, and time slept, among others. Customers can choose to share their activity with co-workers, family and friends who also use the platform so they can encourage each other to achieve their health goals.

The solution is currently available online and through Virgin Pulse’s mobile app for Cigna Healthcare’s commercial clients with less than 500 employees. The new platform, integrated through myCigna, will expand to more clients in 2024 and 2025.

New virtual care features for MDLIVE

Cigna Healthcare customers who are enrolled in employer-sponsored plans have access to convenient and affordable virtual care services through MDLIVE for urgent care, primary care, behavioral care, dermatology, and more. Patients can connect with MDLIVE’s national network of board-certified doctors, pediatricians, dermatologists, psychiatrists, and therapists via phone or video, from home or another convenient location.

MDLIVE Virtual Primary Care providers can also identify and reach out to patients who could benefit from tracking and reporting their biometrics such as blood pressure, weight, and glucose levels, then review that data with the patients. This tracking program can also integrate with digital devices to transmit patient data automatically to the MDLIVE patient portal.

“The biometric data arms physicians with an additional layer of information, which helps them make more informed decisions about their patient’s care,” said Dr. Eric Weil, chief medical officer of MDLIVE. “At the same time, patients benefit from more self-awareness and the active engagement in their own health.”

MDLIVE also released MDLIVE Health Coaching for patients living with chronic conditions. Prescribed by MDLIVE physicians as part of patient treatment plans, the program features an app designed to further engage patients in their care between their routine virtual visits. It provides helpful steps and insights to help support lifestyle changes so the patient can better manage their conditions and achieve optimal health and wellness. The app recently launched with a coaching program for hypertension, and an additional coaching program for pre-diabetes and weight management will be available later this year.

Next year, in addition to live virtual sessions, MDLIVE will offer asynchronous care for common low-acuity conditions such as rashes, urinary tract infections, and pink eye. This function enables patients to request care anytime from an MDLIVE doctor without the need to schedule a real-time patient-clinician interaction. “By adding this to our current virtual services, we are giving patients even more options for timely access to high-quality care. It will also free up our doctors to spend more meaningful time with their patients,” said Dr. Weil. “We also know that low-acuity conditions make up more than half of urgent and primary care visits, so the use of asynchronous care via MDLIVE can significantly reduce treatments costs overall.” This new enhancement was made possible by acquiring the technology and clinical capabilities of Bright.md, a leader in asynchronous care, triage, and health care navigation services. 

People face a choice of hundreds of digital health tools available in the market today. Cigna Healthcare has conducted extensive research to offer members the most effective digital options (either proprietary or via partnerships) that can support their particular health needs.

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*2023, American Addiction Centers