U-M leadership key to landing largest federal medical home pilot project

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -  Efforts by the University of Michigan and its partners were key to the state of Michigan being selected for one of eight federal demonstration projects that are intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care, strengthen the patient and primary care physician relationship, and reduce health care costs.

"This demonstration project is a very exciting opportunity for the state of Michigan," says Jean Malouin, M.D., M.P.H.,associate chair for clinical programs at the University of Michigan Medical School's Department of Family Medicine. "We will have the largest multi-payer patient-centered medical home pilot in the nation with almost 500 practices, 1800 physicians, and 17 payer groups participating." 

Malouin is co-leading the project with Carol Callaghan, M.P.H., chronic disease and injury control director for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Applying for the project involved the collective efforts of U-M, the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, the Michigan Department of Community Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and other physician organization and health plan representatives from around the state. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that it had selected Michigan to participate in the demonstration project.

The project, announced as part of a new CMS Innovation Center, will also evaluate "health home" and "patient-centered medical home" concepts in Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Minnesota. The eight states that will participate in the CMS Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration will be providing care via 1,200 medical homes -- of which about 40 percent are in Michigan.

"This is a chance to highlight and build on the outstanding work that is going on in primary care practices throughout the state in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other health plans such as Priority Health," Malouin says. "Although UMHS practices are not participating in this project due to ongoing work in another CMS demonstration project, we are very supportive of this effort.  We will also be developing the demonstration's data repository and analysis through the Michigan PGIP Analytics Collaborative. 

"In my role as co-lead of this project, I will be working with state experts on the development and implementation of the demonstration's clinical interventions, with a focus on care management and care coordination.  This work will help prepare primary care practices improve the health of our state's population and also build a strong foundation for successful Accountable Care Organization models throughout the state."

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski echoed Malouin's sentiments.

"This is great news for Michigan," Olszewski says. "Under this project, nearly 1.8 million Michigan residents will receive patient-centered care that is better coordinated, provides more personal attention from their physician and their health teams, and assures recommended preventive and chronic care management to keep us well and avoid preventable disease and disability."

Patient-centered medical homes (or health homes) are primary health care practices that provide comprehensive whole-person care to those they serve: children, adults, seniors and families, including recommended preventive care and chronic disease management. Medical homes assure coordinated care across the health care system, including specialists, hospitals, nursing homes, and the patient's community. Quality and safety are hallmarks of the medical home, as is enhanced access through expanded hours and new options for communication between patients and their medical teams.

For more information on the CMS demonstration project and these initiatives, visit: www.innovations.cms.gov.

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