2012-08-16 / News

3 area doctors earn BCBS nod

MANISTIQUE – Three doctors in Schoolcraft County have been designated as patient-centered medical home practices by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan. This will place them among a select number of primary care physicians in Michigan who have been recognized by the company as improving health care quality and lowering costs through a coordinated, team focus on their patients’ health and wellness.

The designated physicians include: Maciej Czechowski, Leonard Mooi, William Phillips.

Through patient-centered medical homes, primary care physicians (pediatricians, internists and family practice doctors) lead care teams that work with patients to keep them healthy and monitor their care on an ongoing basis. PCMH teams coordinate patients’ health care, track patients’ conditions and ensure that they receive the care they need.

“This program benefits patients by improving the doctor-patient relationship. Patients have better access to their doctors’ offices, not only when they are sick, but when they need advice and guidance to keep them healthy,” said Thomas L. Simmer, M.D., BCBSM senior vice president and chief medical officer. “Physicians and their care teams are improving patient outcomes, which leads to lower costs because there is less need for testing and hospital care.”

The benefits of PCMH reach all of a practice’s patients, regardless of whether the patient is insured by Blue Cross. PCMH practices offer their patients services that may not be offered at non-designated practices. The PCMH practices offer 24-hour access to the care team and coordinate specialist and other care, such as nutrition counseling. They also teach patients how to manage conditions like asthma and diabetes.

Data from 2012 show that the Michigan Blues’ PCMH practices have patients who require fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits than patients in nondesignated practices. For example, adult patients in Blue-designated PCMH practices had a 23.8 percent lower rate of hospital admissions for certain conditions than nondesignated practices. These are examples where appropriate care in a doctor’s office or clinic is preventing a medical condition from worsening.

Blue-designated PCMH practices also had an 8.3 percent lower rate of adult high-tech radiology use, a 9.3 percent lower rate of adult ER visits and a 3.0 percent higher rate of dispensing generic drugs over non-PCMH doctors.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Patient-Centered Medical Home Program now includes a total of 994 practices, comprising 3,017 physicians, across the state. It’s the country’s largest PCMH effort of its kind for the fourth consecutive year.

Designation lasts for one year, July through June. Physician practices work to earn designation each year.

To search online for a Blue Cross PCMH-designated physician, go to bcbsm.com.

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