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.

MHA Statement on Stay at Home Order Extension

MHA CEO Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association

Brian Peters, MHA CEOThe MHA and our member hospitals and health systems recognize the critical role social distancing is playing in starting to flatten the curve in Michigan. It has saved lives and helped hospitals manage this crisis – but we are still seeing case growth in many parts of the state. We believe the governor’s extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 15 announced today is based on the best possible public health information and we appreciate this fact-based approach. The governor also announced several modifications that are reasonable. We urge people to resume these activities safely and responsibly to continue to protect others and prevent an unmanageable surge of COVID-19 in small communities with fewer resources.

In addition, we urge Michigan residents to not avoid or delay emergency care if they have a need for it. Hospital clinicians are also able to make medically based decisions to perform certain nonemergency services at this time if that service is necessary to preserve the health and well-being of their patient. Hospitals in Michigan have adopted many additional infection control protocols to ensure that their emergency departments and other areas in the hospital are safe for patients and staff. Again, please do not avoid or delay emergency care out of fear for COVID-19. As Michigan starts to resume more activities in a safe and responsible way, hospitals and clinicians will work with their patients both during and after the state of emergency to ensure patients get all the services they need.