2013-04-11 / Lifestyles

Health partners sign with BCBS

MARQUETTE – Superior Health Partners, an alliance of eight independent health systems located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, including Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, has announced an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to improve the accessibility, quality, and affordability of care provided in the Upper Peninsula.

Under the terms of the threeyear agreement – developed with the assistance of the Premier healthcare alliance – BCBSM will provide upfront incentive payments and shared savings to improve access to high quality care in the Upper Peninsula.

Upfront incentive payments will support SHP in developing the infrastructure needed to achieve Triple Aim-driven quality and operating targets. Funds provided through the agreement will be used to enhance clinical integration and improve SHP health system participants’ ability to effectively manage population health. SHP participants include: Baraga County Memorial Hospital, Bell Hospital, Dickinson County Healthcare System, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Marquette General Healthcare System, Munising Memorial Hospital and Health Services, Portage Health, and SMH.

In addition to improving access and reducing the cost of high quality care for Upper Peninsula residents, the partnership is also expected to benefit the local economy. Currently, $80 to $100 million in annual healthcare expenditures migrate out-of-state, primarily to Wisconsin where costs are often two to three times higher. This partnership aims to mitigate this outmigration, keeping these expenditures within the local economy and preserving healthcare jobs in the Upper Peninsula.

The agreement is meant to align the incentives of BCBSM and SHP toward the shared goal of providing accessible, affordable, and high quality healthcare to residents of the Upper Peninsula.

“This agreement is a natural next step in Superior Health Partners mission to improve healthcare in our region,” noted Gary Muller, CEO of Superior Health Partners. “SHP will continue to partner with organizations that share our vision of providing access to world class healthcare at a reasonable price here in the Upper Peninsula.”

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