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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and UMHS launch initiative to improve emergency care quality statewide

DETROIT -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the University of Michigan Health System will collaborate with emergency physicians at participating hospitals across the state to develop best practices to improve the experience and outcomes of patients receiving care in emergency departments.

Keith Kocher, M.D., MPH

Keith Kocher, M.D., MPH,
U-M Department of Emergency Medicine

“We’re interested in collaboratively improving the delivery and outcomes for patients across the entire spectrum of emergency care, from diagnostic testing to treatment and transitions of care into the hospital and back to the community,” said Keith Kocher, M.D., MPH, project director and assistant professor, Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School. “We plan to have representation from emergency departments in a variety of settings – urban, rural, academic and community – to ensure we all learn from each other.” 

In 2013, Michigan’s ER visit rate was 15 percent higher than the national average, with the state averaging 493 visits per 1,000 people compared with 423 nationally. 

The initiative, called the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative, will:

  • Work together to improve the way emergency care is provided
  • Evaluate current patterns of care to guide quality improvement efforts
  • Develop tools to help providers help each other get better
  • Drive performance by delivering accurate and timely feedback

“This collaborative also will be the first to focus on improving the quality of care for children,” adds Michele Nypaver, M.D., project co-director and associate professor, Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School.

Michele Nypaver, M.D.

“This is yet another example of collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, hospitals and physicians across the state to improve health care quality and safety, while reducing the cost of care,” says David Share, M.D., senior vice president, Value Partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative is currently developing the data infrastructure and reporting system that will collect information from participating hospitals.  Eight to ten hospital emergency departments will participate initially, with plans to expand to additional hospitals in subsequent years.

Across Michigan, 75 large and medium size acute care hospitals participate in at least one Collaborative Quality Initiative, or CQI. Collectively, the CQIs analyze the care given to more than 200,000 Michigan patients annually. Five of the more established CQIs have saved $597 million in health costs statewide between 2008 – 2012 by reducing and preventing complications and improving patient outcomes.

In total, there are now 21 CQIs focused on a variety of clinical and surgical areas including bariatric surgery, general surgery, angioplasty, vascular disease, cardiothoracic surgery, hospital medicine safety, breast cancer, trauma center quality, anesthesiology, hip and knee replacement, spine surgery, surgical episodes of care, radiation treatment for cancer, genetic testing and prostate cancer.

Kocher is a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and innovation.

For more information on Collaborative Quality Initiatives, please visit valuepartnerships.com or umhealth.me/umcqi. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.

The University of Michigan Health System is a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians, health professionals and medical scientists. UMHS includes the 1,000-bed hospital complex and 41 clinical care locations of the U-M Hospitals & Health Centers, which attracts patients from every county in Michigan as well as from other states and nations. It also includes the U-M Medical School with its 1,800-physician Faculty Group Practice, numerous research laboratories and projects funded by more than $460 million in research grants, and highly regarded training programs for physicians and biomedical scientists. UMHS has earned many recognitions for quality & safety from U.S. News & World Report, the Leapfrog Group and beyond. More information: www.uofmhealth.org

 

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