Three Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Quality Programs Approved for National Research

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DETROIT (Nov. 3, 2010) – Researchers from the University of Michigan and Michigan
State University have been awarded a total of $2,741,501 for three research studies to
evaluate several aspects of the Michigan Blues’ Value Partnerships programs. The
highly competitive research grants will allow experienced, outside researchers to test and
validate several collaborative quality programs run by Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Michigan, and determine their relevance on a national scale.
First, with a $405,000, three-year grant from The Commonwealth Fund, principal
investigators from the University of Michigan will examine the effectiveness of the
Physician Group Incentive program, and evaluate the PGIP initiatives’ impact on the
quality, cost and efficiency of care provided by Michigan physicians.
“We will look closely at the collaborative nature of the PGIP program, to
understand the ways in which physicians and payers can work together to achieve
outcomes that benefit all,” says Christy Lemak, PhD, principal investigator for the study.
Second, with a $477,496, three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality, investigators from the University of Michigan will study
physicians’ progress on transforming their practices into the Blues’ Patient Centered
Medical Home model. Researchers will investigate how practices have succeeded, and
identify the processes, tools and resources that have contributed to their success.
“The doctors and physician organizations in the Blue Cross PCMH program have
valuable insights that will help other PCMH programs throughout the country,” says
Chris Wise, PhD, principal investigator for the study.
Finally, a $1,859,005, three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality will allow researchers from Michigan State University to compare care
management programs delivered through a doctor’s office with similar programs
delivered through a health plan – in this case, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The
study will seek to determine which is more effective in terms of care management,
clinical health indicators, and appropriate use of health services.
“An in-depth study like this has not been done before,” says Jodi Holtrop, PhD,
principal investigator. “This study may provide evidence to support the efforts of
primary care practices to offer care management programs directly, which may give
patients better integrated care.”
Blue Cross staff members are co-investigators and consultants in these studies;
they contributed their expertise in clinical program development, study design and
statistical methods to secure these grants.
“These research studies will help health care providers and policy makers
understand how our collaborative physician partnerships work to improve the primary
care system,” says David Share, MD, MPH, executive medical director, health care
quality.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Value Partnerships is a collection of
collaborative initiatives among physicians, hospitals and the Michigan Blues, all aimed at
improving quality in medical care. To learn more about this comprehensive effort, go to
www.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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