On March 16 of this year, Cigna announced it was teaming up with EMD Serono Inc. in an effort to use a treatment medication that helps patients that are suffering from multiple sclerosis prevent major relapses.

Cigna says that the effort is currently the nation’s first outcomes-based contract out there that applies to a specialty medication. Cigna says that the results will be measured partly by how few MS patients end up in the hospital or the emergency room simply because they used this medication. The medication we are talking about is called Rebif. It is manufactured by Serono. Naturally, one of the goals for Cigna and Serono is that the number of hospital visits will be lowered by the patients taking the drug.

The company’s secondary goal in this venture is to help delay the progression of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. While this effort sounds completely unselfish, it helps to remember that Cigna stands to benefit from MS patients’ symptoms not progressing since it will also prevents the insurance company from having to pay out millions in disability insurance benefits through their integrated services. These integrated services coordinate medical, pharmacy and disability care for MS patients.

James Hoyes, Chief Commercial Officer for Serono says that both Cigna and Serono “are focused on ensuring people living with relapsing MS adhere to treatment regimens to not only reduce the financial cost of the disease, but to also improve their overall well-being and health.” Serono is the biopharmaceutical unit of Merck KGaA in Germany.

While Cigna’s new effort to help MS patients slow the progression of their symptoms is commendable (if self-serving), it stands to remember that Cigna has a long history of denying disability insurance under claims of bad faith practices. If you have had your disability insurance claims denied, or if your disability insurance benefits have been terminated by Cigna, contact attorney Greg Jones for a free consultation today.