NU Online News Service, March 7, 2005, 4:43 p.m. EST

A Bloomfield, Conn., managed care company wants to give group health buyers a tool they can use to measure changes in plan member health status.[@@]

The company, CIGNA HealthCare, a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says its new CIGNA Health Improvement Score, or Hi Score program, will use a scale of 1 to 10 to rate employer health plans on health conditions present among plan members; employee efforts to keep costs down; and employee efforts to maintain and improve their own health.

CIGNA will use the Hi Score system program to compare employers with industry peers and overall national averages, CIGNA says.

CIGNA now is testing the program on a small number of clients and hopes to make it available to more clients in January 2006, the company says.