CEO Dan Loepp: Connected Technology Can Improve Health Care, Too

CEO Dan Loepp: Connected Technology Can Improve Health Care, Too

Statewide leaders are gathering on Mackinac Island for the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, where one of the conference pillars focuses on “winning the race in connected technology.”

Health care might not spark the imagination as much as connected cars or homes, but by focusing on technology and data we can make big improvements for the health of Michigan residents.

Health care, like every business sector, is grappling with how to best take advantage of fast-moving improvements in technology and data analytics.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been leading the charge on finding ways to harness technology to improve health outcomes and manage costs. More and more, we’re turning to technology and data to drive Michigan forward.

Here’s just a small sampling of how.

  • We’re incentivizing physician organizations to participate in statewide data sharing through a Health Information Exchange driven by the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services, or MiHIN. More participation will lead to improvements in transitioning patients between care settings, improved health outcomes, and reduced hospital readmissions.
  • Our Collaborative Quality Initiatives depend on the sharing of data by hospitals and physicians to identify best practices for common areas of care like bariatric surgery or hip and knee replacement that have high costs and wide variation in outcomes. Coordinators analyze the data to improve care and manage costs. In fact, five of the longest-running CQIs have avoided an estimated $793 million in health care costs statewide, thanks to decreased complications and improved patient outcomes.
  • Our Patient-Centered Medical Home program is the largest of its kind in the country. This program encourages the collection and tracking of data to improve transitions and better coordinate care for patients at multiple points in the health care system, whether they’re seeing their primary care physician or a specialist. In 2016, Blue Cross designated 4,534 physicians in 1,638 practices across the state as patient-centered medical homes, based on their progress in implementing medical home capabilities and strong performance on quality and utilization measures.
  • Through our mobile phone app and telehealth services, we’re making it easier for members to manage their health care. The app puts members’ personal health information right at their fingertips, while our telehealth solution from Amwell gives members the opportunity to access a doctor 24-7 through a video call, just like Skype or Facetime, from the comfort and convenience of home.

Staying at the forefront of technology and data is as important to Blue Cross as it is to the automakers that are working to develop driverless cars. As the largest health insurer in the state, our success in driving health care technology forward will help improve the health of all Michigan residents.

Daniel J. Loepp is president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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