Blue Cross Accepting Clinic Applications for Strengthening the Safety Net Program Through June 2
by Erica Stamatoulakis
| 3 min read
DETROIT, April 17, 2023 – Health care clinics across the state are invited to apply for grants through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Strengthening the Safety Net program. Since 2005, Blue Cross has invested over $18 million in safety net grants to increase access to affordable health care and improve health equity. Each year, these grants help 50 clinics across Michigan provide free or low-cost care for uninsured and underinsured residents.
Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Strengthening the Safety Net program helps fund clinical comprehensive services such as primary care and behavioral health (e.g., psychiatry), in addition to specialized care like women’s health, lab/imaging services and dental care. Some clinics also offer patient navigation services, which includes helping patients enroll in emergency prescription assistance programs and Medicaid or the health insurance marketplace. Given the backlog of immunizations administered due to the pandemic, clinics are making vaccinations for influenza, pneumovax and Tdap free of charge to patients.
Those without a primary care source lack chronic disease management, prevention support and early detection and treatment. Without access to these principles of routine care, the most common causes of illness, disability and death in the U.S. remain untreated and individuals experience the worst outcomes from diseases. Persons of color and low-income patients have a higher chance of facing these outcomes. Beginning this month, safety net clinics will be faced with an even larger task when the yearlong Medicaid redetermination process begins for more than 3 million Michiganders, including more than 700,000 who gained coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Ensuring quality and affordable health care to Michigan’s vulnerable populations is the core to Blue Cross’ social mission,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations. “The dedication of care from participating clinics brings us one step closer to better health outcomes for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Blue Cross is proud to partner with Michigan safety net clinics to provide care to those marginalized in our state.”
Applicants may apply for a grant to support clinic operations or services as a medical or dental home.
1. Clinic operations: Safety net clinics that provide episodic care, are open for limited hours and treat more than 100 uninsured and underinsured patients annually are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 to support their operations, including clinical and patient navigation services.
2. Medical and dental homes: Clinics that serve as medical or dental homes and are open for at least 30 hours per week, or bill Medicaid, are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 to support team-based care, including clinical and patient navigation services. Awards at this level require a $10,000 match.
Eligible clinics can now apply for grants through Friday, June 2. Final award amounts will be based on the number of applications received, the scope of applications submitted and the amount of funding available. All materials must be submitted via the online application form, which is accessible at bcbsm.com/safetynet. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.