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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Providing Grants to Safety Net Clinics for 14th Year to Help Uninsured Patients Get Health Care and Address Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse

DETROIT, April 12, 2018 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is again awarding grants to safety net clinics across the state through its Strengthening the Safety Net program. The program, now in its 14th year, provides free or low-cost medical and dental treatment for uninsured and vulnerable Michigan residents and helps them obtain services for prescription drug abuse as needed.  According to Kaiser Family Foundation, there are more than 600,000 uninsured individuals in Michigan. The Foundation also reports that 44 percent of Americans report that they personally know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers. Eligible clinics can apply for grants through Friday, June 8.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to improving the access and quality of health care Michigan residents receive, while addressing the opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic that affect individuals and families across the state,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Through the Strengthening the Safety Net program and our partnership with the dedicated professionals and volunteers at these clinics, we are caring for more than 74,000 patients this year alone.”

Clinics that provide free or low-cost medical, dental, mental health, vision and specialty care services can apply for the Strengthening the Safety Net grants in the following categories:

  1. Clinic operations: Clinics that provide urgent and episodic care and treat more than 100 uninsured or underinsured patients each year are eligible for up to $15,000 to support their operations and increase opioid awareness and treatment.
  2. Primary care: Clinics that provide primary care and are open for at least 30 hours per week are eligible for up to $25,000 to support team-based approaches to health care and increase opioid awareness and treatment. Funding at this level requires a $10,000 match.

According to Healthy People 2020, people with a regular source of health care have better health outcomes and fewer disparities and costs. With the support of Strengthening the Safety Net grants, patients across the state are given a full range of care they need in one setting, which ultimately leads to improved long-term health and lower costs for all. As in the past, all Strengthening the Safety Net grantees are also expected to provide health insurance enrollment services and clinical quality assurance and to connect patients with services that contribute to overall well-being, such as housing, job placement, nutrition and social support services.

Clinics interested in applying for the Strengthening the Safety Net grants can obtain the application materials at bcbsm.com/safetynet.  Questions can be emailed to safetynet@bcbsm.com. Grants will be announced by July 31st.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.