Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is designating 1,551 primary care practices across Michigan as “patient-centered medical homes,” a nine percent increase over the number of practices designated in 2014. Located in 78 Michigan counties and including more than 4,340 individual physicians, the number of designated practices make the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-led program the largest of its kind in the United States for the seventh consecutive year. The designated practices are recognized for intensified efforts to coordinate patients’ health care through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services. Thanks to the Blue Cross program, doctors can better monitor their patients’ conditions, coordinate care with specialists and ensure people are getting the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. “Through our efforts on the Patient-Centered Medical Home, Blue Cross is demonstrating that ongoing collaboration between insurers, physicians and patients can lead to higher quality care and lower costs,” said Daniel J. Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan president and CEO. “The medical home is health care reform in action – it’s improving lives, improving care and lowering costs.” Recognized by awards from health and insurance organizations nationally, the Blue Cross Patient-Centered Medical Home program has saved an estimated $512 million over six years through disease prevention, reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and management of common acute and chronic medical conditions that have improved patient care outcomes. “Our program exemplifies what patient-centered care means. It means stronger connections between doctors and patients. People avoiding emergency care because they can connect with their doctor around the clock. And people leading better lives because their doctor’s team is working hands-on with them to manage chronic conditions,” said David Share, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president, Value Partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Data from 2015 show patients who visit Blue Cross PCMH-designated practices require fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits than other patients. For example, adult patients in PCMH-designated practices had a 26 percent lower rate of hospital admissions for common conditions that respond to office-based care. Blue Cross-designated PCMH practices also had an 8.7 percent lower rate of adult high-tech radiology use, and a 10.9 percent lower rate of adult ER visits. PCMH-designated practices had a 16.3 percent lower rate of pediatric ER visits, and a 22.4 lower rate of pediatric ER visits for common chronic and acute conditions, such as asthma. “Our Patient-Centered Medical Home program provides a stronger base of primary care services for Michigan residents,” Share said. “Now we are building on that foundation by working with specialists, hospitals and other care providers to help them collaborate to form Organized Systems of Care. These systems manage the health of a group of patients by coordinating patient care across all settings.” The Blue Cross Patient-Centered Medical Home Program touches roughly 1.25 million Blue Cross members who visit designated practices. However, the benefits of improved care extend to all patients visiting these offices, not just Blue Cross-insured patients. The number of physicians earning PCMH designation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has increased each year since the program launched in 2009, with 1,200 designated physicians. Designation extends for one year, July 1 through June 30. Physician practices work to earn designation each year. This year, 91 percent of practices designated in 2014 were re-designated. To search online for a Blue Cross PCMH-designated physician, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members can visit bcbsm.com and click on Find a Doctor. The PCMH initiative is part of Value Partnerships, an array of collaborative initiatives among physicians, hospitals and Blue Cross, aimed at improving quality and outcomes in medical care. To learn more about these programs, visit valuepartnerships.com. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.
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