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Michigan Collaboration Saves Lives, Improves Outcomes for Heart Surgery Patients

DETROIT, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A collaboration among the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons (MSTCVS), Michigan hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is facilitating improved outcomes in cardiac surgery and decreasing complications and costs in Michigan.

The MSTCVS/BCBSM Cardiac Surgery Quality Collaborative was formed in December 2005 to advance cardiac surgery quality in the state. By collecting, sharing and analyzing patient and hospital outcomes, cardiac surgery team members have implemented process improvement plans based on their best practices to benefit all heart surgery patients in the state.

Significant outcomes to date include:

-- Increased use of the internal mammary artery (IMA) graft for coronary bypass among seven cardiac surgery programs from 82.1 percent in 2005 to 91.3 percent in 2008. The use of IMA is associated with improved long-term survival after coronary bypass surgery.

-- A decrease in the number of patients requiring ventilator support for more than 24 hours post-surgery, from 19 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2008. This represents a cost savings of approximately $25,000 for each case and is associated with improved post operative outcomes.

-- Clinical data base accuracy, positioning Michigan as a national leader in cardiac surgery quality data. The MSTCVS Quality Collaborative initiated yearly data audits at all 33 adult cardiac surgery programs in the state. The mean data accuracy audit score in 2006 was 95.3 percent and 97.6 percent in 2008.

"This initiative works because of the partnership among cardiac surgeons, hospitals and the Blues. As physicians share data, patients' quality of care improves," says Richard L. Prager, M.D., MSTCVS Quality Collaborative program director and Director of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. "Participation in this initiative continues to increase, more surgeons are collaborating, and surgeons from other states are seeking our help to launch similar initiatives."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network provide funding for data collection, data audits, and data analysis to facilitate improved understanding of outcomes.

"This initiative closely connects to the Blues mission of improving the health and well-being of Michigan residents. It absolutely makes sense for us to support this quality collaboration," says David Share, M.D., MPH, senior associate medical director, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The MSTCVS Quality Collaborative is one of the many clinical quality initiatives supported through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Value Partnerships program. Value Partnerships is a collection of clinically oriented initiatives among Michigan physicians, hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that are significantly impacting the quality of patient care across Michigan by addressing common, costly, and rapidly evolving areas of surgical and medical care. Through collaboration and data sharing, the initiatives are improving clinical quality, decreasing complications, decreasing costs and improving health outcomes. Value Partnerships addresses clinical quality in primary care, bariatric surgery, cardiology, breast oncology, general and vascular surgery, radiology and other pertinent health areas.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.7 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 Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlue 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

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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