Reimagining a Healthy Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been committed to improving the health of all Michigan residents for over 80 years. As we begin to reimagine life after the COVID-19 pandemic and explore new ways to serve and support our communities, we reflect on our accomplishments and reaffirm our dedication to creating a stronger, healthier Michigan.
Over the last year, Blue Cross committed more than $1.3 billion in response to COVID-19, including support for providers on the front lines, refunds for our customers and members, and temporary waivers of member cost sharing for testing and treatment for COVID-19, as well as telehealth. Speaking of telehealth, Blue Cross successfully expanded our telehealth services, working with providers to enable them when physicians’ offices were closed early in the pandemic. This effort resulted in a 700% increase in provider participation in telehealth, and will remain a positive after-effect of the pandemic and a platform for reimagining a healthier future for our state.
As COVID-19 ushered in a new era for telehealth, it also revealed a disproportionate impact of the disease upon racial minority populations – underscoring clear racial and economic disparities in health care access. In response, Blue Cross introduced implicit bias training for providers and launched a team devoted to promoting health equity and cultural competency. More than 4,900 Patient-Centered Medical Home providers completed unconscious bias education within the last nine months.
While COVID-19 has been a major focus of health in our daily lives over the past year and a half, we have continued to dedicate efforts toward improving health care for our members outside of COVID-19. Our Value Partnerships program, aimed at delivering improvements in health care quality, has helped save nearly $2.2 billion in health care costs over the last decade.
In addition, we’ve made payments totaling over $610 million to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support programs that improve the quality, cost and access of health care for vulnerable Michigan residents.
These programs join our longstanding efforts to support Michigan’s network of free health clinics through Strengthening the Safety Net program grants and enable schools to focus part of their curriculum on positive diet and exercise learning through Building Healthy Communities.
At Mackinac Island, we’re coming together to envision a healthy future and build a healthier Michigan. Blue Cross supports this vision every day, in numerous ways, and we are proud to support the Mackinac Policy Conference’s vision as the Diamond Sponsor of this year’s event.