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Survey shows health coverage is important — but not sufficient to guarantee access to care

The second annual Cover Michigan Survey, released today by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT), shows that people who lack health coverage are more likely to seek medical treatment in costlier care settings and less likely to have regular, preventive care.

The survey of 1,000 Michigan adults also reveals that simply having health coverage does not guarantee access to care.

Among those with health coverage, those with Medicaid coverage reported the greatest difficulty gaining access to preferred primary care providers or specialists and were the most likely to delay seeking care when needed.

The uninsured—who reported more difficulty accessing care when compared to the insured—appeared to be sicker or more acutely ill at the point they sought health care services. And among the uninsured, nearly one in three (32 percent) reported having been diagnosed with depression, compared to one in ten (11 percent) of the insured.

“This second-year survey tells us that having any kind of health insurance is better than being uninsured. Those with coverage—including Medicaid—are better linked to primary care doctors who can provide regular, preventive care,” says Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of CHRT. “But when we see the level of difficulty in finding providers to accept their coverage and provide them with the care they need reported today by Medicaid beneficiaries, it raises concerns about the ability of Michigan’s Medicaid system to handle the expected increase in enrollment when the expanded eligibility provision of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.”

Read moreSurvey shows health coverage is important — but not sufficient to guarantee access to care

Michigan’s collaborative quality improvement programs cut health care costs and improve quality of care; Serve as successful national model for improvement

In a paper published today in the professional health care journal, Health Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the University of Michigan report that their model for collaborative health care quality improvement has measurably improved safety and quality in several clinical areas, and has saved millions in health care costs.

Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQI), the term given to the payer-hospital initiatives aimed at improving safety and quality of specific surgical procedures and clinical practices, have been shown to outpace the positive results of similar, national programs. For example, an initiative aimed at reducing 30-day post-surgical complication rates accomplished faster improvement in Michigan (from 13.1% to 10.5%) than a similar national program (from 12.5% to 11.5%).

Read moreMichigan’s collaborative quality improvement programs cut health care costs and improve quality of care; Serve as successful national model for improvement