How Michigan Blues doubled its Medicaid business

In two years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan doubled enrollment in its Blue Cross Complete Medicaid HMO, added programs to improve health outcomes and customer service, and became one of the nation's highest-rated plans for quality as ranked by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

How did the insurer do it?

Blue Cross Complete CEO Nancy Wanchik linked this success with explosive Medicaid growth in Michigan and two strategic partnerships, according to an interview with Crain's Detroit Business.

Already gaining about 700 members per month thanks to an expansion of its service area, Blue Cross Complete will capitalize on Michigan's plans to grow its Medicaid program by an estimated 475,000 people by April 1 under the Affordable Care Act, Crain's noted.  

Insurers in other states are positioning themselves for comparable expansions, as FierceHealthPayer reported, with the notable exception of Alaska.

Another factor in Blue Cross Complete's success has been corporate investment in AmeriHealth Caritas, a national Medicaid HMO in which Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan purchased a minority interest. "We have been working hard to leverage some of their health management programs," Wanchik told Crain's.

And the Michigan plan's partnership with Matrix Human Services ensures members receive a complete  assessment of economic, educational, social and psychological needs, Crain's noted. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan also promotes diversity as a business imperative, as it makes sure the Detroit-based insurer has hired the best and the brightest talent, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

 For more:
- read the Crain's Detroit Business article

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