Blue Cross Health Care Quality Efforts with Hospitals Save $597 Million Statewide

Carly Getz

| 2 min read

It’s no secret – we all know how high the cost of healthcare is in America. In 2012, U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion – or $8,915 per person. That’s more than two months of an average American’s salary. In 1997, Blue Cross partnered with five Michigan hospitals to address rising costs with a single collaborative effort to improve angioplasty. Over 15 years later, the collaboration has grown to multiple programs – called Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs) – that have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in Michigan. These partnerships between the Michigan Blues and hospitals across the state address some of the most common and costly areas of surgical and medical care. Hospitals collect, share and analyze data, then design and implement changes to improve patient outcomes and decrease unnecessary health care costs. Over a five-year period, five CQIs aimed at improving the quality of specific medical and surgical procedures performed in Michigan hospitals have produced $597 million in health care cost savings, while lowering complication and mortality rates for thousands of patients. The results of these five Collaborative Quality Initiatives – covering general surgery, bariatric surgery, angioplasty, vascular conditions and cardiac surgery – were achieved through widespread collaboration with 75 Michigan hospitals. Cost savings for the five programs studied break down as follows:
“While the dollar savings are important, it’s crucial to see the meaning behind the money. These CQIs are saving and improving lives. The cost savings come because people are coming home from the hospital sooner, and healing without complications so they can return to work on time,” said David Share, MD, MPH, BCBSM senior vice president of Value Partnerships. “Michigan is a safer place for health care because these CQIs are so effective.” For more information on Collaborative Quality Initiatives, visit
Photo Credit: Mercy Health
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association