Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan awarded highest honor from the Michigan Cancer Consortium

2011 Spirit of Collaboration Award recognizes cancer care collaboration

November 14, 2011

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network received the Spirit of Collaboration Award, Michigan Cancer Consortium’s highest honor, for its work in leading three collaborations that improve cancer diagnosis and care in Michigan. The award was presented Nov. 9 at the Michigan Cancer Consortium’s annual meeting in East Lansing.

The three initiatives bring together hospitals and physicians throughout the state to work on processes to provide the highest quality care for cancer patients in Michigan. Doctors provide care according to particular guidelines that have been shown to improve cancer treatment, and they track and share data to update these guidelines.

One initiative — the Michigan Breast Oncology Initiative — is the first statewide effort to examine practice patterns in surgical, radiation, and medical oncology to improve breast cancer treatment and outcomes. A second initiative — the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative — examines quality and efficiency in cancer treatment. The third initiative — the Michigan Oncology Clinical Treatment Pathways Program — aims to decrease variation in chemotherapy treatment patterns for patients with breast, colon, lung, lymphoma, myeloma, ovarian, prostate and renal cancers.

“Each of these collaboratives focuses, in a different way, on bringing best practices to the everyday care of cancer patients. We are delighted with the results that have been achieved on topics ranging from the selection of the most effective drugs to initiate chemotherapy, to improving doctors’ ability to understand and honor patients’ preferences for palliative care,” said Thomas Ruane, M.D., medical director, PPO and Care Management for BCBSM. “We’re proud of the commitment of Michigan oncologists to these programs and grateful to play a role in supporting them.”

The University of Michigan Health System, 22 Michigan hospitals, 78 Michigan oncology practices representing 270 oncologists, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Michigan Society for Hematology and Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Oncology Physicians Resources and its administrative arm Physician Resource Management, have partnered with the Blues on these statewide quality improvement initiatives.

The oncology–focused initiatives are part of Value Partnerships, a collection of collaborative projects among physicians, hospitals and the Michigan Blues, all aimed at improving quality in medical care. To learn more about this comprehensive effort, go to

To learn more about the Michigan Cancer Consortium collaboration forum to improve cancer outcomes, visit

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including Community BlueSM, Simply BlueSM and Healthy Blue IncentivesSM PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue LivingSM; Flexible BlueSM plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans; and MyBlueSM products in the under-age-65 individual market. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

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