Cigna eyes behavioral health

Evernorth, the Cigna Group's health services arm, is planning on advancing its behavioral health capabilities. 

Eric Palmer, CEO of Evernorth, told investors on a Feb. 2 call that there is "meaningful opportunity" for behavioral healthcare to be better coordinated.  

"There's significant comorbidities with individuals with mental health care needs, along with other care needs, and we're in a position to help us address those challenges," Mr. Palmer said. 

The Cigna Group is planning to divest its Medicare Advantage business, announcing a $3.3 billion deal to sell the business to Health Care Service Corp. Amid the sale, the company's executives are doubling down on Evernorth's health services offerings. 

"The market expects now much more coordination of behavioral and physical health, and we will continue to expand services that we have within our leading capabilities," Cigan Group CEO David Cordani told investors Feb. 2. 

Mr. Cordani pointed to behavioral health as an area for potential future acquisitions in a January presentation to investors. 

Other health services companies are upping their investments in behavioral health. Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, added over 45,000 therapists, psychiatrists and behavioral health providers to its network, Optum Health CEO Amar Desai, MD, said in November. 

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