Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan honored for innovative programs that use patient data and outcomes to improve the quality of care

December 6, 2011

CHICAGO — The following announcement was made by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Chicago, Illinois.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, recognized Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) with the BlueWorks® award for two programs that address surgical healthcare quality and outcomes for patients.

"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," said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO. "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."

Of the 48 entries submitted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, BCBSM's Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC) and Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative Quality Initiative (MBSC) programs were named the "best of the best" by 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.

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. MSQC presents a major opportunity for those providing surgical care to improve results and reduce complications. 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 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.
"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," said 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."

The 2011 BlueWorks Award is a second consecutive honor for BCBSM. In 2010, the company was recognized for the development and launch of its Patient-Centered Medical Home program, which provides cost savings through improvement in quality of healthcare for consumers.

Now in its eighth year, the BlueWorks program is a unique collaboration between BCBSA and the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, through which Harvard researchers evaluate and select Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' programs for recognition based on their scope, innovation, impact and affordability.

"Harvard congratulates Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for its continued success in developing innovative programs that improve the safety and outcomes for patients," said Dr. McNeil, head of Harvard Medical School's Department of Health Care Policy. "Year after year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies demonstrate how they are transforming the healthcare system by providing people with the best, most affordable care possible by addressing key components of care delivery rather than simply shifting costs across the healthcare system."

Since the inception of the BlueWorks program, Harvard has recognized 59 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' programs. For more information about this year's winning programs and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' programs that have been awarded the BlueWorks distinction, please visit http://www.bcbs.com/healthcare-partners/blueworks/.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 99 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

This news release can also be found on BCBSA's website

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