View Post
MVC Team Welcomes a New Site Engagement Coordinator

MVC Team Welcomes a New Site Engagement Coordinator

I am excited to join the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) in the role of Site Engagement Coordinator. Through my experiences, I have developed a passion for quality improvement in the delivery of healthcare. I have engaged in the collaborative nature needed to improve health outcomes firsthand, and I am excited to foster this environment as a Site Engagement Coordinator with MVC.

Having lived in New York my entire life, I enjoyed exploring what Michigan has to offer in my first few months here. I love being outdoors and finding new hobbies for all seasons of the year. I enjoy participating in triathlons during the summer months and skiing in the winter. I love spending time with family and friends, and my dog, Sable.

I received my undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where I majored in biology and minored in Spanish. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I earned my Master of Public Health (MPH) from the State University of New York at Albany with a concentration in social behavior and community health.

While completing my MPH, I had the opportunity to work as a Graduate Student Assistant at the New York State Department of Health within the Division of Family Health and the Office of Quality and Patient Safety. Within the Division of Family Health, I provided programmatic assistance to the intervention projects of the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative, an initiative that aims to provide the best, safest, and most equitable care to birthing people and infants across New York State.

Within the Office of Quality and Patient Safety, as a part of an evidence-based intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in the Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) population, I worked directly with MMC enrollees to provide them with necessary screening information and connections to appropriate screening resources.

In my most recent role, I served as a Community Support Specialist Team Supervisor for the New York State COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative. This position allowed me to be at the forefront of New York State’s efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and support those who were in isolation and quarantine due to the pandemic.

As Site Engagement Coordinator, I look forward to developing and strengthening partnerships between MVC members and working together to improve the health of Michigan through sustainable, high-value healthcare. If you have any questions, please contact me at kdegener@med.umich.edu.

View Post
MVC Fall Semi-Annual Summary: Prescribing Health in Michigan

MVC Fall Semi-Annual Summary: Prescribing Health in Michigan

The Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) held its second semi-annual meeting of 2022 last Friday, marking MVC’s first in-person collaborative-wide meeting since 2019. A total of 90 leaders registered for the meeting, representing 25 different hospitals, seven physician organizations (POs), and five stakeholder organizations from across the state of Michigan. This meeting’s theme of “Prescribing Health in Michigan” showcased strategies to drive evidence-based medication utilization and support patient access to medications through the implementation and evaluation of quality improvement projects.

MVC Director Hari Nathan, MD, kicked off Friday’s meeting with an update from the MVC Coordinating Center. He welcomed one new collaborative member, Bronson Lakeview (Paw Paw), as well as MVC’s newest team members, Associate Program Manager Erin Conklin and Statistician Lead Usha Nuliyula. Dr. Nathan also highlighted the successes delivered by the Coordinating Center since May’s Semi-Annual Meeting. For instance, MVC launched its Qualified Entity registry pages to provide authorized users with more granular data than is available in the Medicare FFS reports, incorporated Distressed Community Index data into push reports as part of MVC’s commitment to emphasizing equity in healthcare, and distributed three new push reports (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for POs, emergency department and post-acute care utilization for acute and critical access hospitals, and a hysterectomy report for hospital members).

Dr. Nathan also provided an update on the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program, noting that final scorecards for Program Year 2022 will be distributed in quarter one of 2023. Attendees also learned about P4P changes coming with Program Years 2024 and 2025 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Based on member feedback, MVC will be rolling out an updated methodology to improve the actionability of the program. Along with the existing 30-day episode of care component, MVC is introducing new value metrics and engagement metrics for PYs 2024 and 2025. The value metrics will incentivize evidence-based and actionable high-quality services, such as increasing cardiac rehabilitation utilization after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), increasing follow-up rates after hospitalizations for pneumonia, or decreasing preoperative testing prior to low-risk procedures. The engagement metric will award points to hospitals for attending and contributing to MVC engagement activities, such as attending both semi-annual meetings or presenting at a workgroup. Stay tuned for additional details on PYs 2024 and 2025; informational webinars on the program changes are coming soon.

Showcasing MVC’s new pharmacy claims data from BCBSM and Blue Care Network was a focal point for the meeting. MVC Senior Analyst Monica Yost led attendees through an overview of MVC’s current pharmacy claims data along with an unblinded data session focused on opioid overprescribing after joint surgery (see Figure 2 for a blinded version of utilization across the collaborative). Leveraging opioid prescribing recommendations from the Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative (MARCQI), the data session allowed hospitals and POs to see their opioid prescribing rates in the 30 days following hip and knee replacements compared to their peers. Hospitals and POs performing well were invited to offer insights as to how this was achieved and what mechanisms other members could adopt to improve performance levels.

Figure 2.

With the scene set, MVC welcomed keynote speaker Lindsey Kelley, Associate Chief of Pharmacy at Michigan Medicine. Dr. Kelley provided attendees with an overview of the challenges patients face accessing high-cost, complex medications as well as opportunities to improve access and patient experience through integrated health system specialty pharmacy. Walking through Michigan Medicine’s model, Dr. Kelley noted that simplifying the workflow for specialty pharmacies reduces strain on clinic staff (i.e., physicians, nurses, medical assistants) and eliminates the instances of prescriptions being sent that cannot be filled, thereby reducing gaps in therapy starts. Sharing the model’s evaluation strategy, Dr. Kelley highlighted the project’s collaboration with MVC, which led to a larger proportion of all target specialty medication prescription fill data being tracked and extended the evaluation’s reach.

Following Dr. Kelley’s presentation, Troy Shirley, PharmD, MBA, System Director of Pharmacy for Bronson Healthcare, presented Bronson’s efforts to improve health equity through pharmacy-supported discharge initiatives. One initiative focused on medication reconciliation at discharge, which leveraged unit-based pharmacists to complete medication reconciliation for patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, heart failure, and acute myocardial infarction. Additionally, Bronson’s “Meds to Beds” program engaged a multi-disciplinary team that included a retail pharmacist, pharmacy, technician, unit nurse, and care manager to hand-deliver patients’ medications at the bedside and provide medication counseling prior to discharge.

Next on the agenda was a presentation from Tiffany Jenkins, PharmD, BCACP, Director of Population Health Pharmacy at Trinity Health Alliance of Michigan, who shared insights about population health pharmacy initiatives within a physician organization, including a diabetes medication management initiative focused on evidence-based diabetes management to improve quality of care, reduce inappropriate use of pharmaceuticals, and lower cost of care; a pharmacy tech-led medication adherence monitoring strategy to engage patients, providers, and care teams in appropriate medication use; an obesity medication management initiative focused on evidence-based utilization of chronic weight management medications to lower cost of care; and a comprehensive medication management project that leverages pharmacist-care team collaboration to support medication management.

Closing out the morning session, Mark Bicket, MD, PhD, Co-Director of the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN) and Assistant Professor with the Division of Pain Research, Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan, presented information on shifts to prescribing recommendations after surgery to decrease opioid use, techniques to promote the adherence of non-opioid medications and non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, and strategies to maximize safe storage and disposal of controlled substances.

In the afternoon following a networking lunch, the presenters participated in a panel discussion moderated by MVC Co-Director Michael Thompson, PhD, MPH. The group discussed strategies to change provider behavior and navigate the challenges of pharmacy-related improvement initiatives. The meeting concluded with a summary of the day and upcoming MVC activities, led by MVC Associate Program Manager Erin Conklin. The slides from Friday’s meeting have been posted to the MVC website. If you have questions about any of the topics discussed at the fall 2022 semi-annual meeting or are interested in finding out more, please reach out to the Coordinating Center at Michigan-Value-Collaborative@med.umich.edu. MVC’s next semi-annual meeting will be in person on Friday, May 19, 2023, at the Vistatech Center in Livonia.


MVC Celebrates Achievements for National Healthcare Quality Week

As the conclusion of National Healthcare Quality Week approaches, MVC is proud to honor healthcare quality professionals for their unique contributions toward service delivery and improvements in healthcare facilities. Thus far in 2022, much was achieved by MVC staff, members, and partners. Collectively, these teams work to improve outcomes for patients in a way that doesn’t add to the burden of healthcare costs. This week is an opportunity to celebrate those achievements and express gratitude to the dedicated professionals whose hard work made them possible.

MVC strives to help its members better understand their performance using robust multi-payer data, customized analytics, and at-the-elbow support. MVC has been active in each of these areas (summarized in Figure 1) thanks to MVC’s dedicated Coordinating Center staff. Of note is the fact that MVC distributed 16 push reports to 100+ hospitals and 40 physician organizations (POs) so far this year, and prepared 19 custom analytic reports in response to specific member requests. These data help identify areas of opportunity and trends over time that—in conjunction with other internal and external data sets—inform quality improvement initiatives underway at hospitals and POs across the state.

Figure 1.

MVC previously published a detailed mid-year summary of its activities from January to June of 2022, which is available here. Since then, MVC distributed five additional push reports, three of which were new to the collaborative in recent months:

  • Hospital hysterectomy report – new push report!
  • Preoperative testing report refresh
  • Emergency department and post-acute care report – new push report!
  • MVC Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program Year 2022 mid-year scorecards
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease report for POs – new push report!

MVC’s P4P Program mid-year scorecards also highlighted the extraordinary work taking place at hospitals across Michigan. The MVC Component of the BCBSM P4P Program evaluates each participating hospital’s risk-adjusted, price-standardized episode payments for two selected conditions by measuring improvement over time and achievement relative to their peers. At the conclusion of Program Year 2021, hospitals in the collaborative contributed to an overall price-standardized decrease in payments from 2018 to 2020 for the selected P4P conditions of $7.7 million.

Figure 2.

The average points scored for the recent mid-year scorecards was 5.9/10 before including the survey bonus points—0.9 points higher than the average points scored at the conclusion of Program Year 2021. These points reflect tangible improvements to service delivery and patient outcomes, such as reduced readmissions or shifting post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to home health following joint replacement surgery.

To help facilitate practice sharing among members, MVC workgroups have continued to be a valuable activity, with 28 virtual workgroups completed as of this week. Workgroup topics offered in 2022 include chronic disease management, diabetes, health equity, health in action (ad hoc topics), joint replacement, and sepsis. Quality improvement is a team effort, so MVC is extraordinarily grateful to the long list of members and partners who shared their expertise and time by presenting. Thank you to the following organizations for presenting to the collaborative at an MVC workgroup thus far in 2022:

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Ascension Genesys
  • Beaumont Dearborn
  • Bronson Healthcare
  • Henry Ford Health
  • Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities (MSHIELD)
  • Munson Healthcare
  • Olympia Medical, LLC
  • Sparrow Health System
  • Spectrum Health
  • Spectrum Health Medical Group
  • Trinity Health Muskegon
  • Washtenaw County Health Department

As hospitals and POs press ahead to improve the quality of care delivered in 2022, MVC is eager to support your important work. If you have a follow-up question about a report, please contact MVC to discuss a custom analysis. If you have benefitted from or are looking for guidance on a quality initiative, please reach out so MVC can connect you with members undertaking similar initiatives. MVC thanks you for your tireless work, and looks forward to a continued partnership in 2023.

View Post
MVC Welcomes Usha Nuliyalu to Coordinating Center Team

MVC Welcomes Usha Nuliyalu to Coordinating Center Team

I am excited to join the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) team as a data analyst, where I look forward to utilizing MVC’s robust data to support the vision and goals of the team. Along with a 50% effort at MVC, I am working at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy analyzing healthcare claims data for health policy research.

I earned a Master’s in Public Health degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Public Health in 2009. I have worked at U-M since then analyzing data for various research projects. In the early part of my career, I worked for U-M’s School of Nursing and the Michigan Medicine Addiction Research Center, where I had many opportunities to work on data management and build on my knowledge. For the past six years, I have had the opportunity to work with Medicare and commercial claims data, performing statistical analysis and preparing summaries. I also have co-authored several research papers related to health policy.

I am passionate about improving health care quality and reducing disparity. I feel I can utilize my data analysis skills to help providers and policymakers understand what works best and support MVC and its members in achieving their goals. I am also looking forward to learning new research and analytic skills and growing as an analyst. When I am not working, I enjoy hiking, biking, gardening with my family, and music. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at nuliusha@med.umich.edu.