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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan honored for programs to improve patient care

University of Michigan Health System coordinates the innovative programs that use patient data and outcomes to improve care

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, recognized Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with the BlueWorks® award for programs that address surgical healthcare quality and outcomes for patients.

Of the 48 entries submitted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, BCBSM's Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative,  Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative and the Michigan Oncology Quality Practice Consortium earned clinical distinction awards.

The MSQC and MBSC were named the "best of the best" and earned the BlueWorks® award.

All of the programs are coordinated by the University of Michigan Health System, which works with hospitals and surgeons to compile patient data to improve patient care and safety.

"The BlueWorks award exemplifies a vision of the future of healthcare and the enormous commitment by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to positively impact healthcare delivery," says Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and chief executive officer.

"BCBSA applauds Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for developing and implementing healthcare quality programs that are making great strides in improving the quality of care for patients in Michigan while also reducing healthcare costs," Serota says.

An independent team of judges including Barbara J. McNeil M.D., Ph.D. of the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, and judges representing key medical societies made the selection.

  • The MSQC brings together a multi-disciplinary group dedicated to the collection and analysis of procedural and outcome data to improve quality of care for patients undergoing general and vascular surgery. Rates for surgical morbidity are lower in the MSQC, having dropped more quickly when compared to other hospitals in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, which serves as the program's model.
  • The Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative includes 26 Michigan hospitals and 62 surgeons and since the collaborative launched in 2005 overall bariatric complication rates have fallen 24 percent and visits to emergency rooms following surgery have declined 31 percent.
  • The MOQC, in just two years of research and analysis, is contributing to improvements in pain assessment among cancer patients as well as symptom and toxicity management.

 Darrell Campbell, M.D., chief medical officer at the U-M Health System and Laurel Phillips, R.N., led the effort by 34 Michigan hospitals to improve results and reduce surgical complications.

Nancy Birkmeyer, Ph.D., U-M associate professor of surgery, is project director and John Birkmeyer, M.D., U-M professor of surgery serves as co-director of the bariatric surgery collaborative. Amanda O’Reilly, R.N., is clinical nurse project manager and Andrea McVeigh, M.S., serves as project coordinator.

The MBSC is jointly sponsored by BCBSM and Blue Care Network. The initiative includes the development and implementation of a clinical registry database where patient data and outcomes are collected, analyzed and shared in an effort to improve quality of care for bariatric patients with a focus on reducing emergency department visits and the use of pre-operative Inferior Vena Cava filter replacement.

The MBSC has served as a guide for other regional collaborative and can be replicated to improve patient care in other clinical areas.

Jane Martin, director of clinical operations for the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, serves as project administrator of the MOQC. Douglas Blayney, M.D., is director and Jane A. Severson, RN, MSN, is project manager.

Since 2009 the oncology consortium has partnered with the American Society of Clinical Oncology to analyze patient data and identify variations in practice patterns.

In its role as coordinating center, the U-M Health System is responsible for collecting and analyzing comprehensive clinical data from the participating hospitals. It uses these analyses to examine practice patterns, generate new knowledge linking processes of care to outcomes and identify best practices and opportunities for quality and efficiency improvement.

The coordinating center further supports participants in establishing quality improvement goals and assists them in implementing best practices.

"It's with great honor to be recognized by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the Harvard Medical School for our continued commitment and leadership in improving healthcare for people in Michigan," says BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp. "Through the development and success of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative and the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative, our vision is for other organizations to replicate these programs, providing greater outcomes for all Americans."

Since the inception of the BlueWorks program, Harvard has recognized 59 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' programs.


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