Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Announces Nationwide, Patient-Focused Health Care Offering for Michigan Employers

Brianna Neace

| 5 min read

DETROIT, September 6, 2016 –Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced a national, integrated care offering for Michigan employers and their out-of-state employees – Blue Distinction Total Care. Linking Blue Cross Blue Shield patient-focused care models across the country through a shared platform, Blue Distinction Total Care is a nationally recognized program that encourages doctors and hospitals to deliver high-quality care that improves health outcomes and helps manage costs. For the first time, this program provides Michigan-based employers with a value-based care offering for their out-of-state employees that emulates the same level of care that in-state employees have enjoyed for more than a decade through Blue Cross’ high-performing patient-centered medical home, organized systems of care and provider-delivered care management programs. “For 10 years, Blue Cross has been able to provide Michigan employers with a quality health care option for their employees that not only contributed to a healthier workforce through coordinated, preventive care, but also made health care more affordable,” said Alina Pabin, director of Health Care Value National Solutions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Now, with Blue Distinction Total Care, we’re able to extend that same value to those out-of-state as well, and on a very locally, tailored basis. Blue Cross is truly transforming the health care landscape.” Blue Distinction Total Care combines the expertise of Blues plans across the U.S. with locally developed health care programs to cater to the individual health care needs of members on a national scale. For Michigan employers, this means out-of state employees now have access to the industry’s largest national network of patient-focused care programs, resulting in more efficient care that emphasizes preventive medicine and ensures patients see the right provider at the right time. Blue Distinction Total Care draws from an evidence-based approach to lowering the cost of health care, similar to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s patient-centered medical home program, which prevented an estimated $427 million in health care costs through disease prevention, fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits, as well as better management of both acute and chronic conditions within its first six years. This model of care, previously reserved for Blue Cross’ Michigan members, will now improve care delivery, help avoid higher cost services and provide long-term cost management for Michigan employers with out-of-state employees as well. As a result of improving care through Blue Distinction Total Care, Blue Cross plans across the country estimate an average cost avoidance of $6 to $9 per attributed member per month for employers. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has seen significant results through its statewide patient-focused care programs,” said Pabin. “In 2014 alone, we saw a 16.3 percent decrease in pediatric ER visits and 10.9 percent decrease in adult ER visits. We’re thrilled to be able to provide these kinds of results to all of our members nationwide.” The Blue Distinction Total Care network is comprised of nearly 450 patient-focused care programs in 37 states that encompass approximately 118,000 medical professionals, more than 59,000 primary care physicians and nearly 59,000 specialty clinicians, with additional designations expected in the coming years. In 2016, Blue Distinction Total Care includes locally tailored programs in 40 states and 48 of the nation’s top 50 metropolitan statistical areas. To reward doctors for their collaborative efforts, Blue Distinction Total Care providers earn higher reimbursement for the additional patient care coordination they provide and their work to improve the overall quality of care. “Blue Distinction Total Care is building bridges between doctors and patients all over the country like never before,” said Dr. David Share, senior vice president of Value Partnerships at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “The program emphasizes customized approaches to patient care that result in the formation of strong, collaborative relationships between teams led by primary care physicians, and their affiliated specialists and providers in hospitals, to effectively address the needs of patients in each unique community.” Blue Cross’ patient-focused care programs, like Blue Distinction Total Care, integrate care within groups of health care professionals in the Blue Cross network, or Organized Systems of Care, to anticipate patient needs and spend more time on prevention and personalized care planning. Recognized as Blue Distinction Total Care providers, Organized Systems of Care are part of a national network that gives Blue Cross members seamless access to patient-focused programs and local innovations from Blues plans across the country. Employers and employees can search online at for Blue Distinction Total Care doctors near them. For more information on how Blue Distinction Total Care is improving care and lowering costs, visit 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 and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and Designation as a Blue Distinction® Total Care provider means this provider has met the established national criteria and has been designated by the local Plan. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan; and call your provider before making an appointment, to verify the most current information on its Network participation and Blue Distinction Total Care status. Neither Blue Cross Blue Shield Association nor any of its Licensees are responsible for any damages, losses, or non-covered charges that may result from using Blue Distinction or receiving care from a Blue Distinction or other provider.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association