Health insurer Cigna has introduced new electronic contracting, in order to accelerate the process of adding new physicians and practices to its networks.

With this new program, Cigna is expected to reduce the time it takes to add new health care professionals into its network by half.

Cigna vice president, health care professional solutions Julie Vayer said electronic contracting expedites the overall contracting process for physicians and enables CIGNA to more quickly add physicians to its growing network.

"This is just one way Cigna is making it easier for health care professionals to do business with us,"Vayer said.

The insurer said that non-participating medical and behavioral health physicians and small practices wanting a first-time standard contract with Cigna can use a secure website to complete and sign documents.

Cigna said using EchoSign eSignature solution, it will be able to provide a convenient, online audit trail that is safe, secure, and meets compliance and legal requirements.

On average, Cigna adds over 20,000 new physicians and small practices a year.