Holding the Line on Health Care Costs

Steve Anderson

| 2 min read

Vice President of Provider Contracting and Network A...

Piggy bank, money with a stethoscope
If there’s one topic Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is especially passionate about, it's the affordability of health care. In order for health care in this country to be sustainable, insurers must continually be on the lookout for ways to manage ever-rising health care costs. This is a topic that’s top-of-mind for Blue Cross group customers as well. They continue to ask: What more can you do to lower our health care costs? Blue Cross has put in place a number of cost-reduction initiatives over the past several years, and we're preparing to launch some additional ones in 2018. Many members are already familiar with Blue Cross' Value Partnerships program, which includes our nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home program. Through Value Partnerships, Blue Cross works closely with its physician and hospital partners to improve patient care and find better and more cost-effective ways to treat some of the most common and costly medical conditions. Here’s just one example:
  • Patients of urologists who participate in the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative, commonly called MUSIC, have an infection rate following prostate biopsy that’s half of the national average. And, of course, when infection rates drop, the cost of care also drops.
MUSIC is one of 17 Collaborative Quality Initiatives that are improving outcomes and reducing complications in hospital and office settings. What’s more, Blue Cross' value-based contracts with hospitals are helping us align with industry trends to move away from the traditional fee-for-service model toward a population-driven, value-based approach. As the first wave of Blue Cross' value-based contracting program draws to a close, we look forward to developing the next generation of these contracts for implementation within the next couple of years. Contracts are likely to include additional quality and outcome metrics, which help improve care quality and improve value for customers and members. When taking a birds-eye view of all that Blue Cross is doing to hold the line on health care costs, it’s clear to see that we need to take a multi-faceted approach to managing health care costs. It’s only by all stakeholders — including businesses, health care providers and health insurers — working together that everyone can win in the marketplace. If you liked this post, you might also enjoy these other blogs:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association