Working Together to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Michiganders

Working Together to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Michiganders

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of blog posts examining key factors that make the health care system in Michigan an example to follow. Today, we’re looking at how Michigan works together to improve patient care. Read the first and second posts in the series.

At the end of the day, health care providers have one main goal, which is to improve the health of their patients.

Programs that foster care that is streamlined and coordinated, as well as initiatives that encourage shared knowledge all work toward that goal.

Ensuring streamlined care is at the heart of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program, which is the largest of its kind in the United States. Located in 78 Michigan counties and including more than 4,340 individual physicians, the designation recognizes practices that have intensified efforts to coordinate patients’ health care through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services. The program has saved an estimated $512 million over six years through disease prevention, reduced hospitalization and emergency room visits, and management of common acute and chronic medical conditions that have improved patient care outcomes.

The PCMH program is just one of many BCBSM-led initiatives that fall under our Value Partnerships programming. Hospitals and physician groups throughout the state participate in many initiatives that are transforming Michigan’s system of care. The initiatives include clinical quality studies in key specialty areas such as cardiology, cancer, bariatric surgery, blood clot prevention and general surgery. They also focus on processes and systems to strengthen primary care, such as chronic disease management, electronic prescribing and patient data tracking, and optimizing use of high-tech radiology.

“More efficient, cost-effective care delivery models that meet patients where they are seeking care, such as in the emergency room for non-emergency visits – will bring transformative changes to traditional health care practices and substantially improve the health of Michigan residents,” said Joe Mullany, CEO, Detroit Medical Center.

By designing and executing programs in a customized and collaborative manner, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, physicians and providers across the state have been encouraged to work together toward common goals.

A spirit of partnership helps Michiganders enjoy the collective wisdom of providers from across the state.

“I do think it’s a state that is trying to use data and has brought people together,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT), a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and BCBSM. “Generally, at high levels, people do want to learn from each other and make it better.”

“I don’t think people appreciate enough how wonderful the state health care providers have been at being very transparent and sharing best practices on safety and quality,” said Robert Riney, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Henry Ford Health System.

Check back tomorrow to read about how the health care industry is a major employer in Michigan and a partner in building strong communities.      

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Photo credit: Phalin Ooi