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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blues poised to thrive, lead in a post-reform world

Discussions of how to fix our country’s broken health care system have dominated political discourse over the past year. Now that national health care reform legislation has been signed into law, our work has not ended. In fact, as BCBSM President and CEO Dan Loepp said in a statement March 22, the passage of the legislation “is just the beginning.”

The Michigan Blues are well-positioned to operate in a post-reform world since we have been pursuing health care reform in myriad ways for the past several years. In fact, many of our initiatives could serve as a national model for continuing reform. Here are two examples:

  • Our patient-centered medical home program, the largest of its kind in the country, is placing renewed focus on the role of the primary care doctor. The primary care physician’s practice serves as a patient’s medical home, helping to coordinate every aspect of the patient’s care. One report showed that if every American had a medical home, it would result in savings of more than $100 billion per year and improved health care quality.
  • Our Collaborative Quality Initiatives bring together physician groups and hospitals across the state to analyze clinical data, share best practices and implement changes that improve health care quality and lower costs in such areas as angioplasty, surgery and oncology. These efforts have saved hundreds of millions of dollars and many lives.

A new booklet, the 2010 Partners in Health Care Report, takes an in-depth look at these initiatives, illustrating how Michigan could lead the nation in health care reform. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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