Michigan Blues medical homes saves $155M, boosts quality

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has saved about $155 million in three years with its patient-centered medical home program, while also improving quality care, according to a study published in the journal Health Services Research.

Analyzing more than 2,400 practices participating in its PCMH program, the Blue Cross study found quality measures increased by 3.5 percent and preventive care measures rose by 5.1 percent. And adult members participating in a PCMH saved more than $26 per month.

"This program not only strengthens the doctor-patient relationship, it strengthens our overall system of care," David Share, BCBSM senior vice president of value partnerships, said Monday in a statement. "Through the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, doctors and their care teams are improving patient outcomes, which translates to fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits, which leads to lower overall cost."

PCMH practices also saw inpatient admission drop  20 percent for patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions, including asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes, reported Michigan Live.

Blue Cross's PCMH model includes 24-hour access to the provider care team, which emphasizes preventive and proactive management of chronic diseases, and tracking of patient conditions to help them connect with any needed community services. The study found that even if PCMHs implement only partial or incremental portions of the program's model, they still achieve quality improvements and cost savings.

To learn more:
- here's the statement and study
- read the Michigan Live article