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MVC Welcomes Its New Engagement Manager, Jessica Souva, MSN, RN, C-ONQS

MVC Welcomes Its New Engagement Manager, Jessica Souva, MSN, RN, C-ONQS

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to become a part of the impactful work that MVC began a decade ago. Joining a team that is so committed to improving healthcare quality across Michigan has renewed my passion for driving change to achieve equity in healthcare.

I began my career in healthcare as a nurse over 21 years ago. I have worked as a clinical nurse in the adult and pediatric emergency departments, labor and delivery, and ambulatory care.  In 2018, I earned my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Michigan before transitioning into the quality improvement realm of healthcare in 2019 as a site engagement coordinator for the Obstetrics Initiative (OBI). During my time with OBI, I supported hospital quality improvement teams by applying data analytics to support the implementation and sustainability of health equity initiatives. I believe that healthcare cannot achieve optimal quality without equity in service delivery.

In my time between OBI and MVC, I worked within the care management department at Michigan Medicine, developing workflow processes to launch the University of Michigan Physician Advisor Program, and provided strategic planning support to the nursing and medical directors.

When I am not working, I enjoy cheering on my youngest daughter’s softball team, kayaking, and traveling to new places as much as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at jlbishop@med.umich.edu if you have any questions.

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MVC Implements a Variety of Data Updates to Episode Methodology

MVC Implements a Variety of Data Updates to Episode Methodology

Throughout the past few months, the MVC team has made several methodological updates to its claims-based episodes of care data underlying the metrics shared via MVC’s online registry and push reports. Some of these updates were part of regular claims data maintenance, whereas others were improvements identified and implemented by the MVC team.

Long-Term Acute Care Hospital Utilization Added as Post-Acute Care Category

A new category of post-acute care utilization was generated within MVC episodes of care: long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) stays. Previously, facility claims were grouped into seven major categories: inpatient, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, emergency department, skilled nursing facility, home health, and outpatient/other. An area of opportunity was identified by the MVC Coordinating Center and MVC members to add LTACH to this list. Formerly in MVC data, claims for stays at LTACH facilities were grouped in with inpatient claims and thus counted towards “inpatient readmissions” in the context of an MVC episode of care. LTACH is now its own category of care within MVC episodes and is assessed separately from inpatient stays at general acute care hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. To count towards post-index LTACH care in an MVC episode, a facility claim must contain bill type 011X and the billing facility NPI for the claim must be primarily affiliated with taxonomy code 282E00000X. LTACH claims will continue to be price standardized in the same manner as other inpatient claims.

As a result of LTACH being added as a separate category of care in MVC episodes, MVC members can now also look at their patients’ use of LTACHs on the MVC registry. By index condition, members can view their attributed episodes’ rate of post-index LTACH utilization as well as their average LTACH payment per episode within the Payment by Condition reports for all payers. To do so, users must navigate to the Payment by Condition report, scroll down to the “Payment Measure” filter on the left side of the registry, and select “LTACH ($)” or “LTACH (%)” to look at average payments or utilization rates, respectively.

Updates to Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) Identification

Another update made to MVC data this year was the application of components from the most recent specifications around hierarchical condition categories (HCC) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). HCCs are patient comorbidities that both CMS and MVC use as part of risk-adjustment processes. When creating episodes of care, MVC uses each patient’s claims data in the 180 days prior to a given index event to retrospectively assess the comorbidities diagnosed for that patient prior to their MVC episode of care. Formerly, diagnoses indicated as “present on admission” on a patient’s index claim were also used to ascertain a patient’s HCCs, but MVC has updated its methodology such that no diagnoses from the index claim will be used in the assessment of patient HCCs going forward. MVC continues to create 79 HCCs according to HCC V22, with new diagnosis codes added each year.

Furthermore, we note that the category hierarchies created by CMS have been applied to the HCC comorbidities that MVC assesses and displays on the registry. The “hierarchical” aspect of the condition categories is applied to groups of similar diagnoses with a goal that patient comorbidities are not over-counted. For example, a patient diagnosed with diabetes may have multiple similar diagnoses reported on claims over a six-month period, such as diabetes without complications, diabetes with chronic complications, and diabetes with acute complications. Rather than describing that patient as having all three diagnoses, a hierarchy is applied so this patient will simply be described as having the most severe of the group of diagnoses (i.e., diabetes with acute complications). To look at the prevalence of HCC comorbidities among your patient population for one of MVC’s 40+ inpatient or surgical episodes of care, members can navigate to the “Comorbidities” report on the registry.

New Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Group (MS-DRG) Version

As part of annual maintenance to accommodate newly introduced billing codes, MVC recently updated the version of Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Codes (MS-DRGs) being used to re-group inpatient claims into categories of similar inpatient stays. MS-DRG v40.1 is now being used by MVC to categorize all inpatient claims containing ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes and ICD-10-PCS procedure codes.

Inpatient Claim Outlier Length of Stay Methodology

MVC updated the method by which inpatient claims with a particularly long length of stay are identified and price standardized. MVC price standardizes each inpatient claim by adding up three components: a standard DRG-based payment, an inpatient transfer payment (if applicable), and a length of stay-based outlier payment (if applicable). An outlier payment is added to the total price-standardized payment amount for a given inpatient claim if the covered patient remained in the hospital significantly longer than an average patient with the same DRG. In the past, MVC identified these “outlier” long length of stay inpatient hospitalizations using publicly available national long length of stay thresholds for every DRG from TRICARE, the uniformed services healthcare program. MVC’s updated outlier methodology uses Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) claims to identify the 99th percentile in length of stay (days) among inpatient claims for each MS-DRG. The hospitalization length of stay on each inpatient claim is then compared against the newly identified 99th percentile threshold for the corresponding DRG. Claims with stays exceeding that length threshold are considered outliers. The outlier payment added to that claim’s price-standardized payment amount is then calculated with an unchanged formula as follows: Outlier Payment = (Number of Days Over DRG-Specific Length of Stay Threshold) * $2,500.

All-Cause Readmissions Assessed for All MVC Conditions

New this year, all-cause inpatient readmissions following index hospitalizations will be assessed for all MVC conditions whenever readmission metrics are shown. Specifications around the identification of readmissions will not vary by index condition.

Episodes Containing COVID-19 Care Now Identified by Primary Diagnosis Codes Only

Finally, MVC has modified the identification of episodes containing care for COVID-19. Episodes are now flagged as containing significant COVID-19 care if they meet the following criteria: at any point during the 30- or 90-day episode, a COVID-19 diagnosis (U07.1) was found in the primary diagnosis code position on a facility claim categorized as inpatient, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing facility, or LTACH. These episodes are often excluded from metrics displayed in MVC push reports. To exclude episodes containing COVID-19 care from metrics shown on the registry, members can use the registry filter called “COVID Cases.” Users should select “Exclude 30-Day COVID” to exclude episodes in which COVID-19 was found within the index event or 30 days post-index. Selecting “Exclude 90-Day COVID” will exclude episodes where a primary COVID-19 diagnosis was found within the index event or 90 days post-index.

For more information on MVC episodes of care data, please refer to MVC’s data guide. MVC members with questions not covered within the data guide are welcome to reach out to the Coordinating Center at Michigan-Value-Collaborative@med.umich.edu.

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MVC Announces Registration, Speakers for its Oct. 20 Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting

MVC Announces Registration, Speakers for its Oct. 20 Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting

The MVC Coordinating Center is excited to announce open registration for its upcoming Fall Collaborative-Wide Meeting on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., in Lansing, MI. This meeting’s theme is “High-Value Care for All: Collaborative Approaches to Equitable Healthcare,” and will focus on how interdisciplinary collaboration can support efforts to reduce disparities and provide equitable healthcare.

This meeting will include presentations on health equity frameworks for quality improvement, insights from claims-based data, and inter-organizational partnerships to improve patient outcomes. MVC is thrilled to be joined by Renée Branch Canady, PhD, MPA, CEO of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI), as its keynote speaker. Dr. Canady has extensive experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, and was recognized as Crain’s 2021 Notable Executives in DEI. She received this honor for her work implementing incremental changes in health equity and social justice at MPHI. Under her leadership, MPHI established the Staff of Color Affinity Group, the Center for Health Equity Practice (CHEP), and the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement (CCRE). She also recently published a new book titled Room at the Table: A Leader’s Guide to Advancing Health Equity and Justice.

The MVC Coordinating Center will also present MVC data linked with supplemental social determinants of health data sets, updates about the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program, and other Coordinating Center updates.

MVC’s fall collaborative-wide meeting will also feature a new roundtable format with insights from a wide variety of guest speakers, including Nora Becker, Michigan Medicine; Diane Hamilton, Corewell Health Trenton; Matthias Kirch, Michigan Social Health Interventions to Eliminate Disparities (MSHIELD); Laura Mispelon, Michigan Center for Rural Health; Amanda Sweetman, the Farm at Trinity Health; Larrea Young and Noa Kim, Healthy Behavior Optimization for Michigan (HBOM); and Thomas West, U-M Health West. Attendees will rotate through several mini-presentations and discussions about specific health equity topics, such as demographic data collection and patient screening practices, developing and funding community benefit programs, addressing transportation access barriers, support programs within rural communities, tobacco cessation interventions, financial toxicity risks for patients, and more.

Attendees will have multiple opportunities to network and learn from their peers. The meeting includes a mid-day poster session to highlight success stories and research across the collaborative and the broader CQI portfolio. MVC is still actively accepting poster submissions through 10/5/2023 that feature first-hand experiences with quality improvement, related research, or the implementation of interventions and best practices. They can be on topics unrelated to health equity or MVC conditions/data, authored by clinicians and non-clinicians alike, or presentations already shared at a recent conference or event. Instructions for submitting a poster are available on MVC’s events page. The meeting also includes breakout sessions in the afternoon focused on regional trends and opportunities using MVC data and member insights, as well as an optional networking reception at the conclusion of the event, from 3-4 p.m.

Those able to attend MVC's fall collaborative-wide meeting may register here. MVC hosts two collaborative-wide meetings each year to bring together healthcare quality leaders and clinicians from across the state.


The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Activity Planners

Hari Nathan, MD, PhD; Erin Conklin, MPA; Chelsea Pizzo, MPH; Chelsea Andrews, MPH; Kristy Degener, MPH

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MVC Welcomes New Analyst, Kim Fox, MPH

MVC Welcomes New Analyst, Kim Fox, MPH

It is a privilege to be welcomed to the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) team as a Senior Data Analyst! As a new member of the MVC team, I am excited to learn from and work alongside a talented team of MVC coordinators, administrators, and analysts to help improve the health of Michigan through creating sustainable, high-value healthcare.

My public health journey began after discovering the field of Medical Anthropology. Medical anthropologists show us that medical practices are shaped not only by scientific knowledge, but also by sociocultural, environmental, and economic factors. These factors lead to substantial variation in healthcare practices both globally and in our own neighborhoods. It is this principle that underlies my work in public health and keeps me inspired. My goal is to help find compassionate, creative, and robust healthcare approaches that consider and balance these factors to help improve the health and well-being of communities and populations.

Prior to joining MVC, I served in roles that have ranged from research operations and disease surveillance to global healthcare consulting. I received my Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Medical Anthropology from U-M.

I am looking forward to working with MVC and its members to identify best practices and opportunities for continuous improvement through the analysis of clinical and claims data. If you have any questions or wish to get in touch, please feel free to email me.

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MVC Reflects on 2023 Mid-Year Progress and Successes

MVC Reflects on 2023 Mid-Year Progress and Successes

As the Michigan Value Collaborative continues its activity in the second half of 2023, the MVC team is taking a moment to pause and reflect on the tremendous work accomplished over the past six months. Here is a look back at some of the highlights.


MVC spent significant time and effort in Q4 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023 developing a new episode-of-care data structure initialized by index visits to the emergency department (ED). This work was done in collaboration with MEDIC—the ED-focused CQI—and the data science portion was completed by ArborMetrix. ED-based episodes were created for 15 high-volume, ED-relevant conditions from January 2017 through the present using all BCBSM, BCN, and Medicare plans for which MVC has claims data. Episodes were created for index events at all qualifying hospitals in Michigan. Over two million ED-based episodes have been created thus far, with plans to update and add additional claims data on a regular cadence. These data were used in the creation of a new ED-based episodes push report and are also available for use in custom reports for members.


Since Jan. 1, the MVC team has completed a total of 11 custom requests as well as six push reports, three of which were new:

  • ED-based episodes report (hospital version) - new
  • Skilled nursing facility (SNF) and home health report (hospital and PO versions) - new
  • P4P final scorecards for PY 2022
  • Preoperative testing report refresh
  • Cardiac rehabilitation report refresh


So far in 2023, MVC has been busy implementing and adjudicating the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program. In March, MVC finalized and evaluated PY 2022, sending final scorecards to participating hospitals. PY 2022 was the first year of a two-year cycle for which MVC data was used to evaluate hospitals on two of seven selected episode spending conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colectomy, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), joint replacement, pneumonia, and spine surgery. The average total points scored was 6/10 before including bonus points, one point higher than the previous PY average. Consistent with previous years, joint replacement was the highest-scoring condition with an average of 4.6 points earned, while pneumonia was the lowest-scoring condition with hospitals earning 1.5 points on average (Figure 1).

After finalizing the methodology for the PY 2024-2025 cycle, MVC collected selections from all hospitals in early Feb. for one of five episode spending conditions and one of seven value metric options. MVC hosted two explainer webinars and five one-on-one meetings to support sites with their episode spending metric and value metric selections. The most common episode spending selection was for joint replacement and the most common value metric selection was seven-day follow-up after CHF.

Figure 1.


MVC was approved as a qualified entity (QE) in 2022 under the Qualified Entity Certification Program (QECP) and continues to fulfill requirements to maintain QE status. In the first half of 2023, MVC continued to provide authorized hospital users with registry access to QE Medicare data that met program requirements. In Jan., MVC also published its 2022 Annual Public QECP Report. MVC’s first public report as a QE provides information on hospital performance for two sets of measures: rehospitalization following post-discharge home health use, and outpatient follow-up receipt following CHF/COPD inpatient hospitalization. The public report was published on the MVC website and shared with MVC contacts via email. MVC will refresh and publish its next annual public report this fall, adding two new years of data.


MVC held its spring collaborative-wide meeting on May 19. A total of 86 leaders from a variety of healthcare disciplines attended representing 50 different hospitals and 13 POs from across the state of Michigan. “Connecting the Dots: Celebrating 10 years of value-based care” was the theme, putting the spotlight on care transitions, care coordination, and MVC’s 10 years of supporting data-driven quality improvement. MVC was joined by guest speakers from Trinity Health IHA Medical Group and the new lung health CQI, INHALE. MVC also offered a poster session highlighting the work of several members and partner CQIs. MVC staff prepared a variety of unblinded data presentations, including a first look at its new ED-based episode data as well as unblinded breakout session presentations on its new P4P value metrics. Save the date for MVC’s fall collaborative-wide meeting, scheduled for Friday, October 20 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing.


Over the last six months, MVC delivered a total of 14 workgroups, which were designed to provide a highly accessible online platform for hospital and PO leaders to come together, collaborate, and learn from peers. MVC offers workgroups on six topics this year: cardiac rehabilitation, chronic disease management, diabetes, health equity, health in action, and preoperative testing. Visit the MVC 2023 Events Calendar to check upcoming dates and topics and to register.

In addition, MVC launched a new Lunch and Learn series dedicated to MVC-focused activities and topics. The kickoff session in March included an overview of MVC and its offerings for new site coordinators or partners. The next session in June featured an introduction to MVC’s data sources, its episode structure and methodology, and an analyst-led walkthrough of one of MVC’s most recent push reports. MVC plans to host two more Lunch and Learn sessions later this year on other topics.


In June, MVC welcomed two new data analysts to the Coordinating Center: Kushbu Narender Singh, MPH, and Jiaying (“Janet”) Zhang, MPH. MVC published welcome blogs about Kushbu and Janet last month and looks forward to introducing them to members and partners in the coming months.


The MVC team is hard at work preparing for its first Rural Health Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom. The purpose of the meeting is to provide presentations and MVC data tailored to its rural or Critical Access Hospital members. This meeting will feature presentations by leaders from MVC, Scheurer Health, and the Michigan Critical Access Hospital Quality Consortium. RSVP here.

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Study Shows Lasting Impact of a Modifier 22 Initiative on Opioid Use Among Vasectomy Patients

Study Shows Lasting Impact of a Modifier 22 Initiative on Opioid Use Among Vasectomy Patients

The opioid epidemic continues to harm individuals and communities worldwide; over-prescribing, overuse, and related overdose deaths persist in the United States and abroad. Without proper intervention, the proliferation of opioid use disorder and its negative impact on population health will continue. Healthcare professionals and stakeholders eager to stem this crisis are investing in the development and iteration of interventions that improve control of opioid distribution. As part of this effort, one team of healthcare researchers recently published a paper in Urology investigating the impact of an insurance payer’s novel opioid reduction intervention on the adoption of opioid-sparing pathways.

The authors of this publication, including lead author Dr. Catherine S. Nam, M.D., and her colleagues from Michigan Medicine, sought to compare the percentage of patients who filled peri-procedural opioid prescriptions before and after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) launched a modifier 22 incentive for opioid-sparing vasectomies in Michigan. This program incentivized the utilization of an opioid-sparing post-operative pathway developed by the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN) by allowing the use of the modifier 22 reimbursement code for vasectomies performed with minimal or no post-operative opioids. Previous literature has demonstrated success in this approach for other medical procedures. The use of modifier 22 as an opioid reduction intervention was first launched by BCBSM in 2018 for select procedures and was expanded to include vasectomies in 2019. Typically, modifier 22 can be applied to select insurance claims with the primary procedure code when the work attributed to that procedure or medical intervention exceeds the typical amount of required labor. When approved, insurance companies may provide additional reimbursements of up to 35%.

The expanded eligibility for the modifier 22 into vasectomy presented substantial quality improvement potential given both how commonly this procedure is performed—approximately half a million times annually across the US—and the fact that a 2019 survey indicated more than half of urologists prescribed opioids for patients receiving a vasectomy, even though the procedure can be completed without them. For a vasectomy procedure to qualify for the modifier 22 program, a surgeon must intend to follow an opioid-free peri-procedural course as well as provide additional counseling to patients about post-procedural pain expectations, proper opioid disposal, and non-opioid pain management strategies.

Given the novel quality incentive for opioid-sparing pathway application to vasectomy with implications for payers, providers, patients, and policymakers, Dr. Nam and her colleagues were interested in evaluating the impact this policy change had within the state of Michigan.

To perform this analysis, Dr. Nam and colleagues leveraged Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) administration claims data from beneficiaries in BCBSM’s preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. The data provided by MVC included men ages 20 to 64 who participated in urologic procedures between Feb. 1, 2018, and Nov. 16, 2020.

Between these dates, Dr. Nam and colleagues identified 4,559 men who underwent office-based vasectomies and 4,679 men in the control group, which consisted of men who underwent cystourethroscopies, prostate biopsies, circumcision, and transurethral destruction of prostate tissue. These procedures are all office-based and not eligible for opioid-sparing modifier 22, thus providing a point of comparison.

The results of the analysis demonstrated a strong association between the implementation of modifier 22 for vasectomies and filled opioid prescriptions. Before July 1, 2019—prior to the implementation of the expanded modifier 22 policy—32.5% of men filled an opioid prescription after receiving a vasectomy, whereas after implementation only 12.6% of men filled an opioid prescription post-procedure (see Figure 1). As highlighted in the figure below, Dr. Nam and colleagues found a 19.9% absolute reduction and 61% relative reduction in the percentage of vasectomy patients who filled peri-procedural opioid prescriptions.

Figure 1. Percent of Patients Filling Opioid Prescriptions Before and After Implementation of Modifier 22

Among the vasectomy patients in the analysis, for every three opioid prescriptions filled before the implementation of modifier 22, only one was filled after the initiative was implemented. They did not find a significant decrease in the percentage of patients who filled peri-procedural opioid prescriptions in the control group.

In addition to the decreased frequency of men filling peri-procedural opioid prescriptions for vasectomies, Dr. Nam and colleagues also found a significant decrease in the prescribed amount. After the implementation of modifier 22 for vasectomies, the oral morphine equivalents (OME) of peri-procedural opioid prescriptions fills dropped from 89.7 OME per prescription to 27.1 OME per prescription. Dr. Nam and colleagues estimated that this decrease in prescription size led to the distribution of approximately 8,473 fewer oxycodone 5mg pills in Michigan.

When asked about the significance of these findings, Dr. Nam explained, “This estimate helped us grasp the impact of the Modifier 22 policy change for patients as well as the community. If this was the impact in a bit over a year for a single procedure in one state, how large could this impact be annually? What could the impact be when quality incentive is expanded to additional procedures? What if the quality incentive could be expanded to other states?”

These findings suggest that the modifier 22 incentive does decrease the percentage of patients who fill peri-procedural prescriptions after a vasectomy and its implementation correlates with a reduction in the number of opioids circulating within the community. In addition to reducing the unnecessary presence of opioids in communities, this initiative also emphasizes a shift to refocus healthcare interactions on the patient. The required additional education about pain management and proper use of pain management medications implemented as part of the modifier 22 initiative provides patients with a better understanding of their care and encourages physicians to consistently deliver high-value care.

Despite the significant findings of this study, a question remained. If these practice changes were initiated by incentivized modifier 22 interventions, what would happen if BCBSM terminated the incentive? Since the publication of Dr. Nam and colleagues’ original study, BCBSM terminated the financial incentive using modifier 22 for opioid-sparing vasectomies on Dec. 31, 2021. This termination provided the group with an opportunity to observe the long-term impact modifier 22 had on physician prescribing patterns and patient opioid use after the incentive was no longer in place.

Dr. Nam and colleagues performed another interrupted time series analysis before and after the termination of modifier 22 using the same vasectomy and control groups. After analyzing the data provided by MVC, they observed no significant changes in the opioid fill rate compared to the rate observed when the modifier 22 program was in effect. This was true for both the vasectomy group and the control group (see Figure 2). The persistence of reduced opioid prescription sizes was also observed following termination of modifier 22. Prior to incentive termination, the mean opioid prescription amount was 59 OME, and after termination the mean further reduced to 36 OME.

Figure 2. Percent of Patients Filling Opioid Prescriptions Before and After Termination of Modifier 22

These critical findings demonstrate that physician opioid prescribing behavior remained constant after the removal of financial incentives. More research still needs to be done on the long-term impact of programs such as modifier 22; however, Dr. Nam and colleagues suggest that other payers could implement incentive programs like BCBSM’s modifier 22 initiative in order to spur similar changes in prescribing patterns and are hopeful that short-term financial incentives are part of the solution to creating lasting practice changes.

“This is the first example of a novel quality incentive targeting physicians to provide high-value care by incentivizing opioid-sparing pain pathway,” she said. “However, this incentive can be adapted to incentivize other high-value care – could we recognize physicians that are providing guideline-based care? How about ensuring that appropriate lab and imaging tests are ordered for patients as part of their care plan? And if so, could it be possible for there to be an investment made from the insurance companies to champion high-value care for a short period of time to have lasting effects?”

MVC is committed to using data to improve the health of Michigan through sustainable, high-value healthcare. Therefore, one of MVC’s core strategic priorities is intentional partnerships with fellow Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs) and quality improvement collaborators. In partnering with clinical, administrative, and CQI experts to leverage MVC data for analyses, MVC aims to identify best practices and innovative interventions that help all members improve the quality and cost of care.

Publication Authors

Catherine S. Nam, MD; Yen-Ling Lai, MSPH, MS; Hsou Mei Hu, PhD, MBA, MHS; Arvin K. George, MD; Susan Linsell, MHSA; Stephanie Ferrante; Chad M. Brummett, MD; Jennifer F. Waljee, MD; James M. Dupree, MD, MPH

Full Citation

Nam, C. S., Lai, Y.-L., Hu, H. M., George, A. K., Linsell, S., Ferrante, S., Brummett, C. M., Waljee, J. F., & Dupree, J. M. (2022). Less is more: Fulfillment of opioid prescriptions before and after implementation of a modifier 22 based quality incentive for opioid-free vasectomies. Urology, 171, 103–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2022.09.023.

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MVC Welcomes New Analyst, Kushbu Narender Singh, MPH

MVC Welcomes New Analyst, Kushbu Narender Singh, MPH

I would like to introduce myself as the Michigan Value Collaborative’s (MVC) newest data analyst. I am very thankful to be a part of this incredible team! I am an internationally trained dentist from India with over eight years of clinical and research experience. From childhood, I have been motivated to help people improve their health by overcoming barriers and getting timely access to quality healthcare. This led me to pursue a degree in health science and I greatly enjoyed treating dental diseases and conducting oral cancer research. My thesis research focused on studying the role of nestin - the cancer stem cell marker - in the initiation and progression of oral carcinogenesis.

After a few years of clinical practice, my curiosity about disease prevention increased. I wanted to be involved in providing data-driven healthcare solutions that would create a more significant impact on the community. I recently earned a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, which provided me with valuable knowledge and opportunities to explore the applications of data-driven research in solving real-world healthcare problems. My most recent research work focused on studying the association of statin usage with the incidence of head and neck cancer.

With this background and experience, I am excited to continue my journey - to integrate my research and clinical skills - working towards MVC’s mission. I look forward to learning and growing in my role as an analyst and continuing to fulfill my passion for improving people’s health outcomes. When not working, I enjoy gardening, bird watching, and hiking, and live by the motto ‘Live and Let Live.’ Please feel free to reach me at kushbu@med.umich.edu.

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MVC Announces Speakers, Breakout Sessions for Spring Collaborative-Wide Meeting

MVC Announces Speakers, Breakout Sessions for Spring Collaborative-Wide Meeting

The MVC Coordinating Center is excited to announce the agenda for its Spring Collaborative-Wide Meeting on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the Vistatech Center in Livonia, MI. This meeting’s theme of “connecting the dots” reflects a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, care transitions, and alternative sites of care. This meeting also serves as the official launch of MVC’s 10-year anniversary celebration, which will highlight MVC’s achievements in promoting high-value healthcare throughout the last decade.

Presentations will highlight unblinded MVC data, inter-organizational partnerships, care team collaboration to improve patient outcomes, and supporting care transitions. Attendees will learn to utilize MVC’s claims data more effectively and efficiently to inform patient-centered quality improvement opportunities at their respective healthcare organizations. After this meeting, attendees will have insights and tools to help improve the following patient outcomes: care transitions and post-discharge support, readmissions, patient experience, treatment adherence, and patient education.

MVC’s Director Hari Nathan, MD, PhD, and Co-Director Mike Thompson, PhD, MPH, will kick off the day with Coordinating Center updates, announcements about the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program, and success stories that celebrate MVC’s 10-year anniversary. This will be followed by the unveiling of new MVC episodes based on care initiated in the emergency department (ED), which were developed in partnership with the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC). This presentation will include an unblinded data presentation using new ED-based episodes for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients.

The guest presentations will feature two MVC partners, a physician organization and a fellow Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI). Speaking in the morning will be the Trinity Health IHA Medical Group. Caitlin Valley, MHA, Senior Population Health Project Manager at IHA, will present on transitional care collaboration and management for healthcare improvement. In the afternoon, attendees will hear from the INHALE (Inspiring Health Advances in Lung Care) team, a new population health CQI focused on the quality of care for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and adults and children with asthma. Speaking about COPD care transitions and post-discharge support on behalf of INHALE will be Co-Director Michael Sjoding, MD, MSc, who is also an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Michigan Medicine.

In addition to traditional presentations, attendees will have multiple opportunities to network with and learn from their peers. The meeting includes a mid-day poster session that will highlight success stories and research across the collaborative and the broader CQI portfolio. MVC is still actively accepting poster submissions. Posters should feature first-hand experiences with quality improvement, related research, or the implementation of interventions and best practices. They can be on topics unrelated to MVC conditions or data, authored by clinicians and non-clinicians alike, or presentations already shared at a recent conference or event. Instructions for submitting a poster are available on MVC’s events page.

There will also be breakout sessions in the afternoon that focus on the new value metrics for Program Years 2024-2025 of the MVC Component of the BCBSM P4P Program. Attendees were asked to select one of four breakout sessions upon registering, including cardiac rehabilitation, post-discharge follow-up (focus on CHF, COPD, pneumonia), preoperative testing, and sepsis readmissions. MVC members interested in referencing the value metrics selected by specific hospitals participating in P4P can refer to MVC's value metric selection document located here.

Those interested in attending MVC's spring collaborative-wide meeting may register here. MVC hosts two collaborative-wide meetings each year to bring together healthcare quality leaders and clinicians from across the state. The fall collaborative-wide meeting will take place in October with a focus on health equity.


The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Activity Planners

Hari Nathan, MD, PhD; Erin Conklin, MPA; Chelsea Pizzo, MPH; Chelsea Andrews, MPH; Kristy Degener, MPH

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MVC Service Day Highlights the Impact of Food Bank Partnerships on Healthcare Outcomes

MVC Service Day Highlights the Impact of Food Bank Partnerships on Healthcare Outcomes

MVC staff stepped out of their daily routines recently when they volunteered as a team at a local nonprofit organization. Eager to make this service opportunity as meaningful to their work as possible, MVC staff selected an organization with ties to health and well-being. Last month they were hosted by Food Gatherers, the food bank and food rescue program serving Michigan residents in Washtenaw County. MVC teammates worked together to sort rescued produce in the Food Gatherers warehouse, saving and packing 1,312 pounds of produce for the community.

Though MVC teammates were excited and impressed by that number, it pales in comparison to the amount of food processed by food banks like Food Gatherers, which last year distributed 7.3 million pounds of food — the equivalent of 6 million meals — through its network of partner programs. In order to collect and distribute all those meals, Food Gatherers maintains a working warehouse where an average of nine tons of food are processed each day, and a busy community kitchen prepares and serves hot meals seven days a week. Volunteers play a significant role in these operations.

Produce boxes and other foods that are processed by volunteers eventually find their way into the hands of over 170 community partners, such as food pantries or emergency groceries. In addition to distributing food, Food Gatherers also works to connect beneficiaries to SNAP and other federal food programs and provide innovative food distribution initiatives at area schools and clinics. A new area of focus is the cultivation of partnerships with healthcare providers to further identify and address food insecurity in the community.

Food Gatherers established its Health Care and Food Bank Partnership Initiative to create a connection between local healthcare institutions and Food Gatherers’ network of partner pantries. It was designed to increase access to food for community members in partnership with healthcare providers. Key activities of the initiative include establishing food insecurity screening and referral programs within primary care locations, training medical professionals such as residents and allied health professionals on the role of food security as a key social determinant of health, and drawing attention to the issue of hunger and healthy food access with healthcare providers.

This is a growing area of interest for food banks across the country since food insecurity is closely linked to poor health outcomes and increased risk of chronic disease. According to one study, in fact, the rate of Type 2 diabetes is 25% higher in adults who are food insecure. In addition, as many as one-third of patients with a chronic illness are unable to afford food, medications, or both. A recent publication using MVC data also found strong associations between chronic disease burden and financial outcomes.

Several components of the Food Gatherers Health Care and Food Bank Partnership Initiative were initially supported through a Michigan Medicine grant. Food Gatherers has worked with Michigan Medicine, Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, and IHA as well as with community-based clinics such as the Hope Clinic, Packard Health, and the Corner Health Center. Though the grant ended in 2021, the larger concept of partnership between healthcare providers and community food banks is still an area of interest and opportunity.

"Food Gatherers has been working with our local health care partners to support and encourage the use of food insecurity screening in primary care settings,” said Markell Miller, MPH, Director of Community Food Programs at Food Gatherers. “When providers can identify food insecurity in a patient, they can help connect the individual to resources - specifically SNAP, or if it's an urgent need, a local food pantry. Hunger is a health issue, and when providers talk about food security, they reinforce the connection between nutrition and health, and also destigmatize the experience for individuals facing food insecurity. Our Hunger and Health Training program provides baseline information for physicians on food security as a social determinant of health, and how to support individuals facing food insecurity. We've focused on training medical residents going into careers in primary care, but there is an opportunity to train other providers to increase knowledge and comfort with food insecurity screening and referrals. We look forward to future opportunities to expand our partnership with health care providers, and also continue to seek sustainable funding solutions to support the network of healthy pantries that are available in our community."

Similar programs are also underway at other food banks across Michigan, such as Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. In 2015, Gleaners was one of three participating food banks in a two-year randomized controlled research study on the impact of food bank interventions on outcomes for patients with Type 2 diabetes. They have partnerships with the CHASS Center, Covenant Community Care, Henry Ford Health System, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, and Trinity Health St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, and have thus far connected more than 500 patients with healthy food.

MVC recently invited Jessica Ramsay, MPH, Director of Wellness and Nutrition Education at Gleaners, to present at MVC’s upcoming chronic disease management workgroup on Thurs., April 20, from 2 - 3 p.m. The presentation will focus on partnerships between healthcare providers and community organizations, highlighting pilot programs and initiatives at Gleaners that improved both patient outcomes and healthcare utilization through reduced food insecurity. Registration for this workgroup presentation is open now.

To learn more about the food banks mentioned, please visit the websites of Food Gatherers and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Reach out to MVC if your hospital or PO has a similar partnership in place with a community-based organization – MVC would love to highlight this work.

To learn more about the ways in which food insecurity impacts health, check out the video below from Feeding America.

Illuminating Intersections: Hunger and Health (Feeding America)

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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.