Doctor and surgeon standing together

Unique Partnership Has Improved Health Care in Michigan

For more than 20 years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has worked with hospital and physician partners to improve quality and outcomes of patient care, with an eye toward moderating costs for members and employers.

This innovative work falls under an umbrella we call Value Partnerships and encompasses approximately 50 statewide programs and initiatives. Since it started, Value Partnerships programs have helped us avoid $2.2 billion in health care costs.

Dr. Jack Billi, an internist and professor at the University of Michigan Medical School serves as the physician coordinator for 16 Collaborative Quality Initiatives led by University of Michigan faculty. The CQIs represent only one of BCBSM’s Value Partnerships programs. Each CQI brings together physicians from around the state to analyze exactly how they deliver care, share what they’ve learned, and collaborate to improve quality and safety.

An early champion and collaborative partner in this effort, Billi recently sat down with Dr. Thomas Simmer, senior vice president and chief medical officer, BCBSM, to reflect on how the partnership between the state’s largest insurer and health care providers across the state started, the success they’ve seen as a result and how they envision future collaborative efforts.

“Both of our organizations have felt an obligation not just to take care of our individual clients and patients, but actually for the entire state of Michigan,” Billi said.

“The things that have been learned have resulted in over 300 publications and this means that the world of medicine is learning from what’s going on in Michigan,” Simmer said.

Listen to more of their conversation in this video:

Want more information?

  • Learn more about Value Partnerships here.
  • Learn more about our efforts to make health care more affordable here.

Photo credit: Nano Stockk

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