Methodist and Cigna Announce CPOE Reward Program

Published On 07/11/2011

CIGNA HealthCare and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare announced today they have joined together to launch a program that will reward physicians for using computerized tools to send information to other health care professionals.  The new program uses a technology called “Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)”, which enables doctors to write treatment orders for the care of their patients and then send the information electronically to other health professionals, reducing the risk of error. The program will provide modest rewards to physicians for using the computerized technology at the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system.    

The computerized program established at Methodist North Hospital is the first for a private hospital in the Memphis area and will improve patient safety by more clearly delivering the more than one million physician orders that occur each year.  Orders delivered via computers reduce confusion and help ensure that physician treatment protocols are more easily followed.

“We are pleased that CIGNA HealthCare is working with us on this innovative rewards program that will further enhance patient safety,” said Donna Abney, executive vice president, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.  “We hope that this will be the first of many collaborations with CIGNA.”

“CIGNA has a long history of commitment to quality, and we want to support hospitals and physicians in their efforts to strengthen patient safety,” said Dr. Robert McLaughlin, market medical executive for CIGNA HealthCare in Tennessee.  “We are pleased that we can work with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to reward and broaden the number of physicians participating in this program as a means to improve the care received by individuals in the Memphis area.”

Abney said recognition of physicians who have taken the considerable time and effort to help Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare implement CPOE is the right thing to do. “These early adopters are ambassadors that help us pave the way for other physicians as we roll out our electronic order system to other hospitals.  It is especially gratifying to engage in this program with our longtime insurance carrier, CIGNA HealthCare, to improve safety for individuals using our hospital, regardless of their health insurance coverage,” she said.

Methodist North was the first hospital in the system to implement computerized ordering. Methodist is staggering the roll out of the implementation of CPOE at their six hospitals over several years.  The reward program will be implemented in Methodist’s adult hospitals.

Physician rewards will be paid out quarterly in the first year.  Affiliated primary care physicians, hospitalists and specialists are eligible for the reward based on use and results. 

CIGNA (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and security. CIGNA Corporation's operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 47 million people throughout the United States and around the world. To learn more about CIGNA, visit