It’s clear to me that our state and regional leaders know what it takes to make Michigan a true national competitor – a place that draws top talent, lures innovative businesses, encourages development and spurs job creation needed to rev up our economy. It starts with collaboration and shared objectives. Our state’s preparedness is one of the key themes leaders have been challenged to consider as we gather for the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference. Today, we are better prepared to collaborate thanks to the energy and synergy we developed during the region’s recent pitch for Amazon HQ 2.0. The power and spirit of collaboration resulted in an inspiring campaign, “Detroit. Move Here. Move the World.” Amazon chose a different path, but the resulting partnerships serve as a blueprint for intellectual, creative and economic teamwork that could broadly benefit our communities, region and the state. The area’s leaders are already partnering again on other comprehensive economic development initiatives, including pushing for a much-needed regional mass transit system. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we’re proud to do our part to prepare Michigan for a brighter, healthier future -- as we have for nearly 80 years. Improving our health care system requires collaboration and shared objectives. It requires us to leave our comfort zones and to listen and compromise to achieve our shared objectives of improved quality, lower costs and better outcomes. Today, Blue Cross is proud to be among national leaders in efforts to bring value and quality to our customers and members through programs like our Patient-Centered Medical Home, now in its tenth year. Born over years of collaboration with leading physicians in Michigan, our Medical Home practices consistently outperform others in clinical quality and other measures and deliver better health outcomes. We’re also proud to collaborate with physicians and physician groups on other critical patient safety, clinical quality and care processes. These initiatives have improved and transformed health care for everyone in our state and nationally, including by reducing post-surgery complications, hospitalizations and return trips to the emergency room. These programs, which we call Value Partnerships, are saving lives and relieving some of the enormous cost pressure on the health care industry. Over time, the initiatives have avoided more than $1.4 billion in health care costs, which in turn serves our members by increasing quality and improving overall affordability. And in keeping with our social mission, we’re contributing time, resources and expertise to make our communities healthier and more vibrant. That includes an $85 million payment Blue Cross made this year to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to improve the health of seniors and children, bringing our total payments to $355 million. This is in addition to support for a wide variety of important community-based health initiatives and partnerships, and through thousands of volunteer hours our employees spend in the community. And now Blue Cross is collaborating with doctors, physician groups, businesses, customers and members to combat the devastating opioid epidemic that is harming families across our state – and nation. We are committed to working together to save lives. All these successful and powerful initiatives have common threads – collaboration and commitment. I’m pleased that through collaboration, our leaders, businesses and communities are charting a positive path forward for Michigan and creating a healthy future for our state and our people. Daniel J. Loepp is President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which serves nearly 5.4 million members in all 50 states.
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