BluesWeek: Blues to Celebrate Achievements of Health Care Quality Partnerships

Blue Cross and a number of partnering health care providers will unveil new data reflecting significant achievements in four statewide Collaborative Quality Initiatives Tuesday, April 17 in Detroit. Health care reporters are invited to attend the event, which will highlight new progress made in efforts to improve patient safety and clinical quality while lowering costs in Michigan.

The Blues will be well represented at a Health Policy Symposium Friday, April 13 in Ann Arbor. Tom Simmer, the Blues’ senior vice president and chief medical officer, will appear on a policy panel, while Dr. David Share, vice president, Value Partnerships, will moderate another. The symposium, sponsored by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, will explore ways to bridge the gap between health care research and policy.

Staff members at A Healthier Michigan are hard at work narrowing the field of entries for the “Make the Play for Healthy Habits” kid video contest. Readers can vote for their favorite finalists for two weeks starting April 13 on the blog. The winner, to be announced in early May, gets a school assembly with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and an opportunity to be a featured guest blogger.

In Case You Missed It

A federal court in Detroit has dismissed a lawsuit against the Blues by the city of Pontiac that alleged the insurer harmed competition by striking discounts with Michigan hospitals. Pontiac last year joined litigation by the U.S. Department of Justice taking aim at the discounts, which Blue Cross negotiates with hospitals in an effort to maintain access to quality health care and hold down costs.

Rate increases continued to moderate for small employer groups in Michigan during the fiscal third quarter of 2012. BCBSM announced a statewide average increase of 7 percent, compared with an average 12 percent increase over each of the last two years, a reflection of efforts to introduce more cost-effective products, promote wellness and partner with providers to improve the quality of health care. Blue Care Network’s average rate increase for small groups fell below 7 percent.

Blue Cross registered dietitian Grace Derocha, a blogger on A Healthier Michigan, stopped by the WJBK Fox 2 News studios to share her portion control props and talk about how to “Give Green a Chance” in your diet. Watch her segment with morning host Deena Centofanti here.

The Healthier Michigan Radio Show for April took a look at the how walking can improve your health. Host Ann Thomas interviewed guests Jodi Davis, BCBSM’s walking advocate and blogger, and Blues health coach and blogger Angela Jenkins. The episode is available for listening online or as a podcast.

BluesWeek is a weekly snapshot of initiatives, events and other newsworthy tidbits under way at BCBSM

Photo by UMHealthSystem

Blues on the Radio: Health Benefits of Walking Take Center Stage in April

Blue Cross personalities appear regularly on a variety of FM and AM radio programs throughout the state and we’re going to start sharing those interviews regularly here on Blues Perspectives.

The Healthier Michigan Radio Show

With National Walk at Lunch Day coming up on April 25, The Healthier Michigan Radio Show in April focuses on the health benefits of walking. Guests are Jodi Davis, the Blues’ walking advocate, who shares the steps she took to lose over 160 pounds; and Angela Jenkins, a health coach for Blue Cross who details the health benefits of walking and why National Walk at Lunch Day is a great opportunity to motivate coworkers, employees and just about anyone to take a walk for good health.

The hour-long show is  available online or as a podcast. It also airs at the following times on the following stations:

  • WJR-AM in Detroit, 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3
  • WJIM-AM in Lansing, 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3
  • WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids, 9 p.m. Sunday, April 8
  • WTCM-FM in Traverse City, 9 p.m. Monday, April 9

Talk of the Town

Also in April, Jeff Connolly, president of West Michigan Operations and Managed Care for the Blues, will speak with Steve Kelly of WOOD Radio on topics including Young Adult Blue MaxSM and other individual health plan products and National Walk at Lunch Day. Connolly is also a regular guest on the Talk of the Town segment on WOOD radio. Jeff will also begin having regular conversations on WTCM in Traverse City beginning in April.    

“Ernie” Encore Presentation

In addition to The Healthier Michigan Radio Show, Andy Hetzel, a frequent radio presence for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, sat down this month to talk with:

  • Ken Kal, Detroit Red Wings radio broadcaster
  • Dan Dickerson, Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster
  • George Blaha, Michigan State football and Detroit Pistons radio broadcaster

Hetzel, the Blues’ vice president of Corporate Communications, discusses “Ernie,” the play by Mitch Albom about legendary Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who also served as a walking advocate for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. BCBSM is bringing back the hit play for an encore presentation from May 3 through July 28 at the City Theater in Detroit.

Photo by Jens Dahlin

BluesWeek: Employees Begin Relocating to RenCen Tower 600 in Detroit

The Blues have begun moving employees into renovated offices in Tower 600 of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. The first 281 employees moved into newly renovated offices in Tower 600 earlier this week, and another 306 will arrive Monday from Southfield. Blue Cross’ downtown Detroit campus will have more than 6,000 employees when the final moves wrap up this summer.

The submission period for the “Make the Play for Healthy Habits” kid video contest is now closed, with dozens of entries submitted from across the state. Readers can vote for their favorite finalists for two weeks starting April 11 on A Healthier Michigan. The winner, to be announced in early May, gets a school assembly with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and an opportunity to be a featured guest blogger.

Grace Derocha, a blogger on A Healthier Michigan and Blue Cross registered dietitian, takes her portion-control suitcase to the airwaves Friday to talk serving sizes and how to “live green” with fruits and vegetables. She touts health benefits including reduced blood pressure, weight loss and maintenance and more on Fox 2 News Friday during the 10 a.m. hour.

The April installment of The Healthier Michigan Radio Show examines the simple yet effective health benefits of walking. Host Ann Thomas interviews guests Jodi Davis, BCBSM’s walking advocate and blogger, and Blues health coach and blogger Angela Jenkins. The episode airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 on both WJR-AM and WJIM-AM in Lansing. It’s also available for listening online or as a podcast.

In Case You Missed It…

BCBSM is sponsoring an encore season of “Ernie” the play May 3 through July 28 at City Theater in Detroit. Written by media personality Mitch Albom, the play celebrates the life of legendary former Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who also served as a health and fitness advocate for the Blues.

BluesWeek is a weekly snapshot of initiatives, events and other newsworthy tidbits under way at BCBSM.

Photo by tukanuk