Grants Awarded to Address Substance Use Disorder in Upper Peninsula

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced Jan. 19 that four Upper Peninsula community organizations will receive $490,000 in grant funding to help them address gaps in service for individuals and families facing substance use disorder (SUD) and to support the development and growth of recovery communities. Recovery communities offer a variety of services to support people recovering from SUD and their family members.

The MHA is a community partner in the project, along with the Upper Peninsula Health Plan and four members of the Michigan Opioid Partnership: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the Superior Health Foundation.

The organizations’ two-year grant programming begins in January 2022. Organizations receiving the funding include the Eastern Upper Peninsula Opioid Response Consortium, Great Lakes Recovery Centers Inc., the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and Superior Housing Solutions.

The MHA Board of Trustees identified behavioral health as a critical priority for the association in its 2021-2022 Strategic Action Plan. The board established goals for behavioral healthcare that include setting guiding principles, overcoming obstacles and seeking new funding. The MHA’s partnership in this grantmaking project is one of several steps toward achieving those goals.

Coverage of the press release includes stories from WJMN-TV and WLUC-TV6. For more information on the grants, contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA. Additional information on the association’s efforts to address behavioral health is available from Laura Appel at the MHA.

CEO Report — Our Commitment to Safety and Quality

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” — W. Edwards Deming

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOThe last week has been an eventful and successful one for the MHA. The Michigan Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer came to an agreement on the state budget for the new fiscal year, which fully preserves all our hospital and healthcare funding priorities — needed more than ever as our hospitals continue to combat COVID-19 and deal with extraordinary staffing challenges. We were officially honored by Modern Healthcare with the Best Places to Work in Healthcare distinction. And finally, we received great news when Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) announced a $5 million commitment through 2024 to support the MHA Keystone Center’s expanded quality and safety improvement programs. I would like to personally thank BCBSM CEO Dan Loepp for his support of this continued partnership, which is the right thing to do for all Michiganders.

Since its inception in 2003, the MHA Keystone Center has provided leadership and facilitation that has directly resulted in improved patient care and quality outcomes — in other words, we have demonstrably saved lives and saved healthcare dollars. No wonder that the MHA Keystone Center has earned both national and international acclaim.

Our first flagship initiative involved central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). Through that work, Michigan hospitals saw a 22% improvement in CLABSI rates. Initial BCBSM funding also supported work that saw a 31% improvement in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and a 5.9% improvement in venous thromboembolism.

Following our initial successes, the Great Lakes Partners for Patients (GLPP) Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) was created, allowing us to collaborate with our colleagues in Illinois and Wisconsin. Our HIIN efforts from Sept. 2016 to March 2020 produced a total cost savings of nearly $293 million, saved 3,350 lives and avoided 25,204 incidents of harm among hospitalized patients.

The MHA is now one of eight organizations participating in the Superior Health Quality Alliance, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-contracted organization that seeks to improve the quality of health and healthcare through innovation, effectiveness and efficiency in designing and implementing CMS Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors initiatives that are person-centered and integrated across the continuum of care and services. This important work with federal contracts is yet another way we can improve quality in the acute care setting.

High reliability work has been a focal point for the MHA for several years, which was initiated with our members in 2015. This work ensures exceptional quality of care is consistently delivered for every patient, every time. In 2018, the MHA Keystone Center launched a Reliability Culture Implementation Guide in partnership with our fellow state hospital associations from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This guide provides resources available for front-line staff, executive leaders and board members to help identify areas of opportunity.

Over the past year, CEOs representing all our community hospitals have signed the MHA Pledge to Address Racism and Health Inequities, demonstrating our members’ unified commitment to address disparities, dismantle institutional racism and achieve health equity. Recent examples of tangible steps taken to accomplish those goals include the publishing of the Eliminating Disparities to Advance Health Equity and Improve Quality guide and offering a virtual series to address four diversity, equity and inclusion concepts: equitable conversations, equitable messaging, partnership building and diversity pipeline development. The Health Equity guide is geared to assist organizations in addressing health disparities to achieve equitable care by providing key strategies, recommendations for action, implementation levels, and resources to support progress.

Thanks to funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the MHA Keystone Center recently launched its second Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community free of charge to MHA members. The Action Community builds on existing practices of participating organizations and combines them to reliably implement the evidence-based framework of high-quality care with all older adults in the system. With Michigan’s aging population, this work is exceptionally important and timely.

One way to help instill a safety culture within a healthcare organization is empowering all members of a care team to speak up if they think something may be wrong. Our patient safety organization created the quarterly Speak-up! Award program five years ago to honor healthcare staff who spoke up to prevent harm, which has prevented nearly $12 million in avoidable costs.

We have also done our part to address the tragedy of opioid overdoses, which lead to more deaths in Michigan than automobile accidents. The GLPP HIIN recently created the Midwest Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) program; participating hospitals collectively have seen an 11.32% decrease in opioid administration and a 13.38% increase in ALTO administration. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the opioid epidemic, we are committed to expanding this important work.

The MHA advocacy and policy departments also assisted in the creation of Project Baby Deer, a rapid Whole Genome Sequencing project to improve pediatric intensive care units and outcomes in Michigan. Genetic disorders are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Early diagnosis of genetic disease has the potential to change clinical management in many meaningful ways, including initiating lifesaving treatments, avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures, shortening hospital stays and empowering families with real-time diagnoses to help with their understanding and decision-making. In addition to improving outcomes, Project Baby Deer also can prevent avoidable healthcare costs.

As you can see, we have a rich history that we can be incredibly proud of. And without question, BCBSM has been an instrumental partner with us on this journey, providing some $16 million in direct funding support to date. This new BCBSM funding will help to ensure that our critical work in safety and quality continues into the future. Specifically, it will allow the MHA Keystone Center to increase hospital participation in the Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM), increasing implementation of pre- and post-partum Obstetric Hemorrhagic Risk Assessment, increasing implementation of Quantitative Blood Loss Assessment, and increasing the percentage of women who receive timely treatment of severe hypertension. It will accelerate our work on the opioid epidemic by maximizing the use of medication-assisted therapy, and it will allow us to expand our efforts to address healthcare workplace injuries — thereby ensuring that hospitals are as safe as possible for our front-line caregivers.

In each example noted above, we have helped to establish a clear process that people can understand, trust and execute.

Lastly, I want to stress that all Michigan hospitals and their team members voluntarily participate in MHA Keystone Center initiatives to advance safety for patients and workers and quality of care. There is no mandate in place to require hospitals to participate in this work, but they each choose to do so because of their missions to care for the sick and vulnerable. The pandemic has shined a bright light on the unselfishness of our healthcare heroes and their participation in these efforts is another terrific example of the lengths they go to improve care for their patients. I want to thank both BCBSM and our member hospitals for believing in this vital work and taking the steps necessary to ensure evidence-based best practices are implemented to the point that they make a difference in patients’ lives. This is mission-driven work that all Michiganders can be proud of

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Headline Roundup: Week of Sept. 20 for COVID-19 in Michigan

Mackinac Policy Conference Peters and Mitchell

MHA CEO Brian Peters and MHA EVP Chris Mitchell speak with Crain's Detroit Business at the Mackinac Policy Conference.The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as statewide healthcare workforce shortage. Also included is coverage of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM)'s $5 million commitment through 2024 to expand the MHA Keystone Center’s quality and safety improvement programs.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Sept. 26

Friday, Sept. 24

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

BCBSM Provides $5 Million to Expand MHA Keystone Center’s Safety/Quality Efforts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) will provide $5 million through 2024 to expand the MHA Keystone Center’s quality and safety improvement programs.

The funds will directly benefit the state’s communities by supporting new efforts and hospital-led initiatives related to improving women and children’s health and expanding parameters to create safer environments for both patients and healthcare workers, considering the new challenges brought on by the pandemic. It will also support the work of BCBSM and the MHA Keystone Center to encourage hospitals to offer medication assisted treatment for patients with substance use disorders to help combat the opioid epidemic.

Noting that investments from BCBSM have allowed Michigan’s hospitals to collaborate on issues directly impacting patients and employees, MHA CEO Brian Peters said, “Together, this work has led to lives saved and healthcare errors and costs prevented.”

Peters and BCBSM President & CEO Daniel J. Loepp were guests on WJR’s Paul W. Smith Show Sept. 16 to discuss the insurer’s renewed support of clinically driven work that addresses the cost and quality of common medical procedures and promotes best practices in patient care..

This funding allows the MHA Keystone Center to provide new offerings without instilling additional fees so that members can continue striving to make advancements in healthcare. For more information about the programs and opportunities afforded through the BCBSM funding, contact Molly Dwyer-White at the MHA.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan contributes $5 million to MHA Keystone Center, expanding longtime investment in safety and quality of health care

Funding will support research and innovations in maternal health, opioid use reductions and the safety of hospital patients and health care workers

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is expanding its longstanding funding relationship with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center with a $5 million contribution. Since the launch of the MHA Keystone Center in 2003, participating hospitals have made significant strides in increasing safety and quality and have been recognized nationally for their work to improve care statewide. This newest investment from Blue Cross, which will be paid in installments through 2024, adds to the $16 million Blue Cross has provided to the MHA Keystone Center since 2009. It will directly support new programs and hospital-led innovations related to women and children’s health, maternal care parameters and the safety of both patients and health care workers. The funding will also support Blue Cross and the MHA Keystone Center’s work encouraging Michigan hospitals to offer medication assisted treatment for substance use disorders to help combat the opioid epidemic.

Among the MHA Keystone Center’s most recent successes with increasing safety and quality, data showed that its Great Lakes Partnership for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (GLPP HIIN) Midwest Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) program led to an 11.3% decrease in opioid administration and 13.4% increase in ALTO administration among participating hospitals. The work of the GLPP HIIN is estimated to have saved 3,350 lives, led to a total cost savings of $292,903,501 and avoided 25,204 incidents of harm among hospitalized patients. The MHA Keystone Center’s quarterly Speak-up! Award program shows health care staff have prevented nearly $12 million in unnecessary costs just by speaking up when they identified potential for harm.

“Since its creation 18 years ago, the MHA Keystone Center has performed critical work that has positioned Michigan as one of the leading places to receive hospital-based care,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President & CEO Daniel J. Loepp.  “Blue Cross and MHA have mutual interest in promoting hospital-based care that is not only safe, but that delivers the positive outcomes patients count on when they first arrive at their community’s hospital.”

“Delivering safe, high-quality care to every patient every time is at the core of every Michigan hospital’s mission,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “The investments from BCBSM for the ongoing quality and safety work of the MHA Keystone Center has allowed hospitals across the state to collaborate on issues that directly impact our patients and employees. Together, this work has led to lives saved and health care errors and costs prevented.”

Michigan physicians also see the positive effects the MHA Keystone Center has on each patient, especially in the operating room, as it has been instrumental in leading to a safer care environment for each patient.  Health care providers practice more safely today because of the MHA Keystone Center’s work, including incorporating actions such as patient checklists, time-outs to assure protocols have been followed, increased precautions and sterile techniques for various procedures. Examples of past work that has led directly to improved quality and safety include the adoption of preprocedural safety huddles, the development of a medication disposal guide for patients and a guide for better pain management to avoid unnecessary opioid use.

Blue Cross and the MHA Keystone Center will align the work of both organizations in improving hospital-based care through data available via the Michigan Health Information Network.  The MHA Keystone Center will continue to participate closely with Blue Cross’ broad array of Collaborative Quality Initiatives – clinically driven work that addresses the cost and quality of common medical procedures and promotes best practices in patient care. Blue Cross’ efforts to promote value in health care delivery along with physicians and health systems have resulted in more than $2.2 billion in savings to date and have – along with the work of the MHA Keystone Center and its participating hospitals – resulted in Michigan gaining stature as one of the best and safest places in the nation to receive hospital-based care.