Hawaii Blue Cross Plan Looks to Michigan’s Value Partnerships

Deborah Reinheimer

| 3 min read

In Hawaii, the legend of Mahie refers to a rainbow that transformed into a young woman who became a caretaker to the gods. Mahie symbolizes the power of community to create beauty and transformation. In Michigan, we’ve used the power of community – and partnership – to create transformation in our health care environment. The Value Partnerships programs have enabled statewide improvements in safety, quality and efficiency. And Michigan’s accomplishments are becoming known nationally. Including in Hawaii. So when the Hawaii Medical Service Association (The Blue Cross plan in that state) was developing its Mahie 2020 Summit, they made sure that Dr. David Share was on the invitation list. Mahie 2020 is HMSA’s long-term initiative to transform the health care system into one where all stakeholders work together to create a coordinated system that works for all residents. As part of this effort, HMSA convened an intimate summit where just 15 influential leaders from different phases of the health care value chain gathered to discuss ideas and solutions for health care transformation. “I was honored to be invited,” says Dr. Share, senior vice president of Value Partnerships. “The Value Partnerships team and I had shared information with HMSA leaders over the past two years. They were eager to learn more.” Other summit guests included a medical school dean, two former CMS directors, a state Medicaid director, and one of the architects of the ACA, among others. Dr. Share gave a detailed presentation on the Value Partnerships principles and programs, as part of the program agenda. But most of the summit agenda focused on group discussion and open dialogue among participants. “At the end of the event, participants agreed that there was much to learn from our programs here in Michigan,” says Dr. Share. “Ours is a durable, real-world model that can be replicated in other states. Other attendees noted that.” Dr. Share says that Michigan Blue Cross will continue discussions with HMSA. The Value Partnerships model is workable for Hawaii, as there are many similarities to the health care environment here in Michigan. Both Hawaii and Michigan have a mix of vertically integrated health systems, populations that are concentrated in a few urban areas, and a majority of primary care physicians who are in one or two-physician independent practices. In addition. HMSA has a large market share, as does Blue Cross in Michigan. As for the Mahie 2020 summit, Dr. Share says the intense 18-hour discussion format was enlightening. “There are so many pressures in today’s marketplace to do things the way everyone else does. We see so many interventions and ideas come and go. It was clear that the Value Partnerships programs are built for the long-term. They are partnership oriented. We trust the providers to do the work with us, together.” Photo Credit: Ricardo's Photography
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association