Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and 21 urology practices work to improve care of patients with prostate cancer across state

Physicians share data and best practices to improve quality, reduce unnecessary procedures

November 29, 2011

DETROIT — Building upon its award-winning partnership program that has helped improve the quality of surgical and medical care in Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and 21 doctor offices throughout the state have launched a new initiative aimed at improving the quality of care for patients with prostate cancer.

The Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative will look at how to reduce unnecessary testing in men with low-risk cancers, and how to provide more appropriate treatment for men with high-risk cancers. Urologists across Michigan also will share data and information to develop guidelines for the use of certain therapies. Creating these standards should reduce variation in practice patterns, which can in turn improve the quality and cost-efficiency of care provided to men with prostate cancer.

"Our initial efforts will focus on improving patterns of care in the staging of men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer," said James Montie, M.D., professor of urology at the University of Michigan Health Center, the initiative's coordinating center. "We will use clearly defined evidence to guide us in staging bone and CT scans." Dr. Montie will lead the initiative along with David Miller, M.D., an assistant professor of urology at UMHC.

Drs. Montie and Miller worked with colleagues in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia to establish the Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative in 2009. That project has successfully reduced variations in practice patterns and improved adherence to recommended staging practices within participating urology groups. The Michigan initiative is based on the principles of the successful multi-state collaborative.

The new Michigan Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative joins 30 other collaborations among primary care and specialty physicians participating in BCBSM's Physician Group Incentive Program.

The program connects physician organizations across Michigan, supporting them in their efforts to collect data, share information and collaborate on initiatives that improve the way health care is delivered in Michigan.

The following urology practices are participating in the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative:

Practice Name City
Affiliates in Urology Westland Dearborn, Taylor
Bay Area Urology Associates Traverse City
Cadillac Urology Practice Cadillac
Comprehensive Urology Royal Oak Troy, Sterling Heights, West Bloomfield
David L. Harold, M.D., P.C.  Pontiac
Family Urology Associates Grand Rapids
Grosse Pointe Urology Roseville, Warren, Clinton Township
Huron Valley Urology Associates Brighton, Canton, Ypsilanti
Jeffery L. Weingarten, M.D., P.C. Rochester Hills
Oakland County Urologists Oakland County Waterford, Milford, Novi
Spectrum Health Medical Group Urology  Grand Rapids
University of Michigan Department of Urology Ann Arbor
Urologic Consultants, P.C. Grand Rapids
Urological Surgery Associates & Center for Urology Ypsilanti
Urology Associates of Battle Creek Battle Creek, Coldwater, Hillsdale
Urology Associates of Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, Greenville, Grant, Hastings
Urology Associates of Port Huron Port Huron
Urology Surgeons, P.C. Grand Rapids
Washtenaw Urology Clinic, P.C.  (Jackson Urology Associates)  Jackson
Wayne State University Physicians Group - Urology Detroit, Farmington Hills, Dearborn, Southfield
West Shore Urology Muskegon Grand Haven, Fremont


"Data-sharing is one of the key elements that has led to improved care in other quality initiatives facilitated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan," said David Share, M.D., M.P.H., vice president and assistant chief medical officer, BCBSM Value Partnerships. "We hope to see similar success in this new program."

The Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative is one of the programs under Value Partnerships, a series of initiatives among physicians, hospitals and the Michigan Blues, all aimed at improving quality and safety in medical care. For more information on this award-winning program, go to valuepartnerships.com.

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.

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