|November 18, 2004|
Joint Medicare Venture Launched by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and CIGNA
Mary Thompson, BlueCross, 423.535.7694
Amy Turkington, CIGNA, 860.226.3489
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — CIGNA and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee today announced the formation of a joint venture to pursue new Medicare contracting opportunities with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Each company will hold a 50 percent interest in the joint venture called Capstone Government Solutions.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, doing business as Riverbend Government Benefits Administrator (Riverbend), and CIGNA HealthCare Medicare Administration, both have a long, successful history providing Medicare fee-for-service contract services for the Medicare program.
“This is a very promising undertaking for both organizations, and one that will allow us to pursue new opportunities for business growth,” said David Cordani, president, health segments for CIGNA HealthCare. “I’m excited by the prospect of our companies pooling our respective strengths and capabilities for the benefit of people who depend on us for Medicare services.”
BlueCross President and CEO Vicky Gregg added, “Combining the strong resources of our two companies will help us meet and even exceed the growing demands required of Medicare contractors. The collaboration also allows us to serve Medicare beneficiaries and providers with more cost-effective, efficient and innovative operations while maintaining existing business operations.”
Medicare business consists of two primary components: a “Part A” portion, which includes services provided within a hospital setting; and a “Part B” portion, which includes services provided by physicians. Under changes stemming from the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Medicare contractors must be able to offer the full suite of Part A and Part B Medicare contract services.
CIGNA HealthCare Medicare Administration and Riverbend have extensive experience each administering Medicare Part B and Part A respectively. The joint venture allows the two companies to combine their expertise and gives them the capability of administering Medicare contracts virtually anywhere in the country. The two companies currently administer portions of the Medicare program in 49 states, paying over $14 billion annually from the Medicare trust fund to providers and beneficiaries.
Riverbend is currently the Part A Fiscal Intermediary for Tennessee and New Jersey. It also provides services across the United States for freestanding Rural Health Clinics, Organ Procurement Organizations, Histocompatability Labs, and Religious Non-Medical Health Care Institutions. CIGNA HealthCare Medicare Administration is currently the Part B carrier for Tennessee, Idaho, and North Carolina, and is the Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier for the western United States.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.
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