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Cigna's (CI) Express Scripts Collaborates With CPESN USA

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The Cigna Group’s (CI - Free Report) pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts, recently partnered with CPESN USA to enhance access to comprehensive care at independent pharmacies. CPESN USA is a network of pharmacy providers that will help CI in reducing the gaps in care delivery. This move follows guidance from CI’s Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee.

This move is aimed at providing enhanced care services for Medicare members suffering from diabetes and hypertension. One out of five Medicare recipients of 65 years or more are affected by diabetes, and 64% of members are diagnosed with hypertension. This collaboration is a time opportune move as by leveraging CPESN USA’s expertise, CI will be able to reduce costs, enhance care access in rural or underserved areas and improve customer experience.

CPESN pharmacies have proved their mettle in improving the health of patients and reducing costs. Identification of at-risk patients, targeted interventions and optimized medication management are expected to improve overall patient outcomes. CPESN USA’s network consists of 3,500 pharmacies in 44 states, which is expected to aid Cigna in delivery, improving access to care and closing the gaps in care delivery.

This collaboration is closely related to Express Script’s IndependentRx initiative, which aims to solidify pharmacists’ role in care delivery. CI will be able to remove barriers to quality care at the community level by partnering with CPESN USA and achieving one of the goals of the IndependentRx initiative. In 2023, Cigna increased reimbursements for independent pharmacies serving rural areas in a bid to expand access to care.

Shares of Cigna have gained 16.3% in the past six months against the industry’s 5.2% decline. CI currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Some better-ranked players in the broader Medical space are Sera Prognostics, Inc. (SERA - Free Report) , HealthEquity, Inc. (HQY - Free Report) and Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (BKD - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Brookdale Senior’s 2024 earnings suggests a 38.1% year-over-year improvement. It has witnessed one upward estimate revision over the past month against no movement in the opposite direction. BKD beat earnings estimates in two of the past four quarters and missed on the other occasions.


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