Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the University of Michigan and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), have selected 15 physician organizations working with 14 hospitals to participate in a statewide Michigan initiative to reduce preventable readmissions to the hospital and emergency room visits.
The initiative, called “Michigan Transitions of Care Collaborative,” is based on the Society of Hospital Medicine’s Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safer Transitions) model. It involves training and mentoring to help physician organizations and hospitals develop, implement and measure programs that reduce the incidence of patients being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge.
In a press release announcing the collaboration, it was noted that unplanned readmissions to the hospital are costly and preventable, draining the resources, time, and energy of the patient, primary care physician, and hospital. Research in the April 2009 New England Journal of Medicine indicates that one in five hospitalized patients is readmitted to the hospital within a month of their discharge.
Nationally, unplanned readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion each year, making estimates about the total cost even higher.
“We are very excited about the high level of energy that has been generated for this program, and we expect this initiative to have a positive impact on improving the way providers and hospitals transition patients to outpatient settings,” says Christopher Kim, M.D., M.B.A., S.F.H.M., hospitalist at the University of Michigan and director of the state-wide collaborative program on transitions of care. “Participating physician groups and hospitals will share best practices and key learnings, leading to improvements in quality and safety for Michigan patients.”
SHM is the premier medical society representing hospitalists. Over the past decade, studies have shown that hospitalists decrease patient lengths of stay, reduce hospital costs and readmission rates, all while increasing patient satisfaction. Hospital medicine is the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, with over 31,000 hospitalists currently practicing and an upward growth trajectory in full force. For more information about SHM, visit www.hospitalmedicine.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred®, Community BlueSM and Healthy Blue IncentivesSM PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue LivingSM; Flexible BlueSM plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlueSM products in the under-age-65 individual market. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.