Blue Cross, Hospitals and Physicians Collaborate to Keep Patients Safe 

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

Male and Female Doctors Discussing in ICU
Part of our mission at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is to help hospitals and physicians across the state keep patients safe, and to improve the quality, efficiency and outcomes of health care. While our efforts have been ongoing for decades, the urgency of the pandemic prompted Blue Cross to take swift action in 2020 to help front-line health care workers continue to provide life-saving care to patients. Blue Cross also supports the Michigan Health & Hospital Association Keystone Center, which leads initiatives that tangibly improve health outcomes for patients. Most recently, Blue Cross contributed $5 Million to the MHA Keystone Center for new programs and hospital-led innovations related to women’s and children’s health, maternal care parameters, and the safety of both patients and health care workers. Here are some of the ways Blue Cross collaborates with physicians and hospitals to keep patients safe:

Pursuit of value-based care

Blue Cross has helped patients avoid $2.2 billion in costs in the past decade through a group of programs and initiatives known as Value Partnerships. These programs include 157 hospitals, 251 skilled nursing facilities and 40 physician organizations representing 20,000 physicians across Michigan, and seek to move health care away from the fee-for-service model and instead pay providers for successfully managing their patient’s health. As a result of these efforts to better coordinate care, patients have avoided repeated tests, have experienced fewer complications and errors and had fewer ER visits and hospital stays. Blue Cross is continuing to advocate for value-based care with its latest set of hospital contracts, in an effort called Blueprint for Affordability.


Blue Cross has fostered collaborations between hospitals and physicians in Michigan to improve patient care. There are 19 collaborative quality initiatives, or CQIs, and each focuses on a common, costly medical or surgical area like blood clot prevention, knee and hip replacement, general surgery and prostate cancer.  One of the CQIs—the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium – has reduced surgical site infections, bleeding and vascular complications. It has also lowered patients’ risk of readmission and death. In each CQI, hospitals and physicians collect, share and analyze data, and then collaborate together on their findings to design and implement changes that will improve patient care and ultimately, provide better outcomes.

Data sharing

One of the ways Blue Cross helps keep patients safe is by empowering hospitals and physicians with information.  The Michigan Health Information Exchange Initiative, one of the largest in the nation, supports physicians and physician organizations who participate in statewide data sharing through the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN). Participants – hospitals, physician organizations and skilled nursing facilities – receive daily emergency room and inpatient admission, discharge, transfer alerts and medication information for their entire patient population. This enables physicians to follow up with their patients sooner, better coordinate care transitions, and reduce duplication of medications and therapies. The service routes information for more than seven million Michigan patients. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
Photo credit: Getty Images
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association