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HBOM Resources Help CQIs, Providers Reduce Smoking

HBOM Resources Help CQIs, Providers Reduce Smoking

Today, the leading preventable cause of death, disease, and disability in the United States is tobacco use. National studies show that 70% of smokers want to quit, but in Michigan only about 15% receive treatment. This critical gap is the current focus of one of the newest population health Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs) in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Value Partnerships portfolio. The Healthy Behavior Optimization for Michigan (HBOM) CQI aims to ensure that all smokers who are interested in quitting receive the support and resources they need to be successful.

HBOM’s mission is to make “the healthy choice the easy choice,” which is accomplished in this case by providing tobacco cessation support throughout the state of Michigan through value-based reimbursement (VBR). In 2022, nine CQIs committed to working with HBOM to provide targeted, just-in-time tobacco cessation support to seize on their “teachable moment.” This approach draws on evidence-based behavior change strategies that leverage unique shifts in patient motivation around major health events, when they may find new motivation to commit to positive health behaviors like smoking cessation.

HBOM works with hospitals, clinics, and care teams across the state of Michigan through its partner CQIs to promote healthy behaviors among patients. They also provide partner CQIs and their respective members with the infrastructure and metrics to measure the impact of these changes. Although HBOM is primarily concerned with three health behaviors (smoking cessation, healthy eating, and physical activity), smoking cessation is their current focal point.

HBOM’s smoking cessation tools and resources are available in both paper and electronic formats to ensure equitable access, and are being shared widely at the patient, physician, and organization levels. Clinicians can share these materials with patients to increase access, awareness, and utilization of smoking cessation opportunities. One example includes a “Tap for Support” near-field communication (NFC) badge (see Figure 1) that clinicians and healthcare staff can wear for patients to scan with their phone, providing them with instantaneous online smoking cessation tools and resources.

Figure 1.

Another example is the Tobacco Cessation Box that HBOM tailored to meet the needs of those wishing to quit smoking. In addition to the badges, it includes HBOM’s Quit Smoking Resource Guide Tear Off Pad (see Figure 2), which providers can use as a discussion tool for Nicotine Replacement Therapy options. The box also includes a reference guide containing a high-level overview of tobacco cessation prescription medication options and HBOM’s VBR toolkit.

Figure 2.

When CQIs and their members wish to learn more or provide support beyond the resources mentioned above, they can connect with HBOM to discuss state-wide smoking cessation metrics, best practices, challenges, and collaboration opportunities. The HBOM collaborative meets regularly with participants and partnering CQIs to address challenges and improve population health. The team is also closely connected with the Michigan Tobacco Quitline and resource recommendations delivered by text message for anyone who wishes to quit smoking.

The MVC and HBOM teams have discussed plans to include HBOM resources in future relevant MVC report communications, such as those chronic conditions that are related to tobacco use. In the meantime, hospitals and physicians can request their own tobacco cessation boxes (see Figure 3).

Figure 3.

For more information on HBOM, visit their website.

As the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) continues to build its offerings for members, the Coordinating Center is cognizant that many other CQIs also partner with hospitals and providers throughout Michigan. Throughout 2022, MVC will post a series of blogs about some of its peer CQIs to showcase their activities and highlight collaborations with MVC. Please reach out to the MVC Coordinating Center with any suggestions or questions.

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New Health Equity Workgroup Has Successful Launch

New Health Equity Workgroup Has Successful Launch

Health equity has captured the attention of healthcare. It was a top trend for healthcare providers in 2021, and surveys indicate it will be one of the main priorities for large healthcare employers in 2022. It is also a key strategic focus of the MVC Coordinating Center in the years ahead. As such, MVC is building out offerings for its members in this space, which began with the launch of its new health equity report and was followed by a semi-annual meeting dedicated to the topic in October 2021. Most recently, MVC launched a new health equity workgroup, which will continue to meet on a bimonthly basis in 2022.

The first health equity workgroup took place this week featuring speakers from the MSHIELD (Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities) collaborative—one of the newer teams in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI) portfolio. MSHIELD Co-Director Dr. John Scott co-presented with MSHIELD Program Manager Carol Gray. They were joined by 72 attendees representing hospital teams, physician organizations, fellow CQIs, and other areas. The presentation focused on the role of MSHIELD in addressing social risk factors in healthcare as well as members’ approaches to health needs screening, referral, and linkage.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) have a tremendous impact on patient health outcomes, resulting in Healthy People 2030 naming it one of its five priorities. With thousands of journal articles confirming the impact of the SDOH, there is now a shared understanding across healthcare providers that this area is a priority. In fact, it affects patient health outcomes significantly more than clinical care (see Figure 1). MSHIELD’s presenters highlighted this fact and used it as an opportunity to define a common language for the discussion. They said health equity is achieved when every person can attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this because of socially determined circumstances.

Figure 1. Graphic from MSHIELD Presentation

MSHIELD will serve as a link between the healthcare system, the community resources that can reliably serve patients’ social needs, and the communities that are home to those patients. To that end, MSHIELD will help establish partnerships with key healthcare and community entities and promote the exchange of data and services in a way that helps achieve health equity.

Unlike some of the “legacy” CQIs that are clinically focused, MSHIELD will fill a consulting role with other CQIs to help them set and meet goals related to health behaviors and social needs. Since health equity is a multi-faceted issue affecting all areas of health, MSHIELD also has an unlimited population and practice focus. For the time being, however, the speakers identified that MSHIELD is particularly interested in food access, housing instability, and transportation since those are areas with the strongest evidence for impact in a clinical setting.

MSHIELD’s presenters also summarized their findings from an environmental scan of the larger CQI portfolio. Last year they surveyed the other CQIs in the BCBSM Value Partnerships portfolio to identify what types of SDOH data they may collect and how. Of the 16 SDOH domains (see Figure 2), MSHIELD found that almost all CQIs collect data on demographics, insurance status, and health-related behaviors. However, only three CQIs currently collect data related to material hardship (e.g., food insecurity, housing insecurity, transportation, medication affordability, access to technology, childcare, etc.). MSHIELD hopes to help build on what has been collected so far and assist providers and CQIs alike in their pursuit of health equity initiatives.

Figure 2. Domains of the Social Determinants of Health from MSHIELD Presentation

The workgroup concluded with an active discussion about current practices and challenges experienced by providers in identifying, referring, linking, and following up with patients. Representatives from physician organizations and hospitals alike shared examples about how they integrate screening and capture this data, which led to conversations about the technologies used to assist with this process and the value of universal versus targeted screening strategies. Most of the participants who shared their experience expressed that whichever strategy they adopted, there were efforts to make the screening questions accessible for those with language or literacy barriers. Examples of this that were provided by members included translating materials to common languages from their local community and utilizing the professional abilities of social workers on site. There were also discussions about how to best identify resources within a given community for the purposes of referrals, with some thoughtful suggestions about partnering with community health needs assessment teams and social workers from within hospitals.

To hear the full discussion and learn more details about MSHIELD, the full recorded workgroup can be viewed here. MVC looks forward to continuing this health equity conversation on March 16. Register for the next MVC health equity workgroup here. If you would like to receive future MVC workgroup invitations or you have an idea for a future speaker, please contact the Coordinating Center at michiganvaluecollaborative@gmail.com.

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Scott is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Acute Care Surgery at the University of Michigan. His health policy and health services research interests are focused on improving access to timely, affordable, high-quality surgical care for the acutely ill and injured.

Carol Gray leads the overall management, performance, and coordination of the MSHIELD program and team. She has extensive experience managing public health research teams, communicating across and coordinating with multiple partnerships, and linking and engaging with community-based organizations.