Priority Health company history


Priority Health moves into the Southfield office and presents a $10,000 donation to Southfield Public Schools health and wellness programs as part of renewed commitment to the region.

For the eighth year, we offer the Priority Health Quality Awards to physicians and practices that achieve the highest overall scores for ensuring patients receive preventive care, control chronic disease and have a good experience. Each award recipient is selected by analyzing the results of the Priority Health Primary Care Provider Incentive Program, a program that tracks clinical quality measures against national standards and evidence-based medicine.

We begin offering our members "virtual visits," Board-certified doctors who are available 24/7 online and over the phone.

Priority Health becomes the only health plan in Michigan to earn wellness accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).


Priority Health adds 10 counties to its Medicare service area: Alcona, Alpena, Berrien, Huron, Iosco, Lapeer, Oscoda, Montmorency, Presque Isle and Van Buren. Priority Health now serves Michigan's entire Lower Peninsula.

We open three new information centers – in Southfield, Holland and Grand Rapids – creating conveniently located resources for the uninsured and others needing to purchase insurance coverage.

Medicaid members in Michigan have improved access to quality health care through our expanded relationship with Metro Health.

Teamed up with Healthcare Bluebook, we are the first Michigan-based health plan to offer members a comparison shopping tool. Members can now review prices on more than 300 of the most-used non-emergency health care services, and can compare quality ratings and read consumer reviews of doctors and hospitals.

Priority Health joins iSelect Custom Benefits Store, Michigan's First Multi-Carrier and Multi-Distributor Benefits Exchange for Mid-Sized and Small Employers.

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) joins Priority Health as a participating provider to serve its HMO, PPO, POS and Medicare plan members.


We add seven counties to our Medicare service area: Arenac, Calhoun, Cheboygan, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee and Ogemaw. Priority Health now serves 58 counties. In addition, we added more than 5,000 new providers to our Medicare Advantage network, including the University of Michigan Health System. This addition grows the family of doctors in Priority Health to more than 19,000.

The Priority Health HMO is recognized by the State of Michigan as a framework for all individual and small group plans to be offered in the state beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The state recommended the plan serve as Michigan's essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark.

In May, Priority Health again earns "Excellent" accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the highest level a health plan can earn, for its Commercial HMO/POS, Medicaid, Medicare PPO and Medicare HMO/POS plans.

After 15 years of visionary management, Kim Horn resigns as president of Priority Health. Michael Freed, chief financial officer of Spectrum Health, takes the helm as president on May 1.


Priority Health celebrates 25 years in business. From its start as Butterworth HMO in 1986, it has grown from serving 1,300 members to serving 625,000.

The Michigan Association of Health Plans honors Priority Health with five Pinnacle Awards. The company earned recognition for its Find A Doctor online tool; Telemonitoring for Heart Failure Members; Fit Kids 360; and Genetics Counseling, Testing and Screening. Earning an honorable mention was the company's Wellness Partnership with Spectrum Health.

The Women's Resource Center honors Priority Health with its 2011 Pillar Award. The honor recognizes employers who empower women at work.

Priority Health ranks among the top health plans in Michigan in member satisfaction according to a JD Power & Associates study.

Priority Health is the only Michigan-based organization to earn Wellness & Health Promotion Accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Priority Health is one of only 20 organizations in the nation to earn this distinction.

A new health plan option gives schools the opportunity to save thousands with PriorityEDUSM. Districts can save up to $2,000 per teacher while maintaining the same outstanding benefits.

Priority Health equips members with a new web-based tool that allows them to evaluate care options before choosing surgery, with the goal of eliminating up to 50% of total costs without impacting the quality or the outcome of care.

Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center (MCRMC) is added to Priority Health's provider network. It's a 288-bed acute care hospital with more than 2,000 employees and 420 affiliated physicians.


The launch of MyPriority® ensures all consumers have access to affordable health care by offering four packages and 14 different customizable options to individuals and families. Low administrative costs and effective preventive health and wellness programs keep MyPriority premium costs at a minimum.

Priority Health launches in July, a new website for employers. It provides up-to-date information to help employers understand what health care reform means for their business. The site features an explanation of laws, the Grandfather Decision Tool, and the Small Business Tax Calculator.

In June, Priority Health releases the first-ever suite of smartphone apps for member ID cards. The apps provide members with access to health care information on-the-go.

New enhanced Medigap (Medicare supplement insurance) plans are offered to Michigan residents. These plans offer better hospice benefits and lower premiums and are designed to fill the gaps in medical expenses not covered by Original Medicare Part A and Part B.

Medicaid services offered by Priority Health expand into Jackson, Hillsdale, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties following approval from the State of Michigan's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. This expansion enables Medicaid recipients in those counties to choose Priority Health as their health plan.

In a health insurance plan study of customer satisfaction by JD Power & Associates, Priority Health scores above the national average and is ranked number two in Michigan. Priority Health receives scores that were among the best in four categories and ranks better than most in three other categories.

Expansion of Priority Health's PriorityHMOSM and PriorityPPOSM products into Huron and Sanilac counties makes certain those in Michigan's "thumb" will have access to Priority Health insurance. Through this expansion, McKenzie Memorial Hospital in Sandusky joins the more than 100 hospitals included in Priority Health plan networks.

Priority Health is one of only four pilot sites selected to participate in a national pilot program for payment reform funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The PROMETHEUS Payment model focuses on bundling patient payments.


US News & World Report magazine releases the NCQA health plan rankings and lists Priority Health's HMO/POS/PPO health plans in the top 10 percent of quality health plans nationwide and ranks its Medicaid plans as 14th in the nation.

Priority Health earns an "Excellent" rating from the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Both the Commercial HMO and Medicaid HMO plans earned this rating, which is good for three years.

In October, Priority Health launches a new website, The site helps Medicare-eligible Michiganders compare three new Medigap plans and a PPO Medicare Advantage plan in addition to Priority Health's three original Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plan.

Our three Medicare Advantage plans earn a 5-star rating from the national Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the second year in a row. The national rating, based on a survey of Medicare plan members, is announced in September.

Bronson Healthcare Group, based in Kalamazoo, Mich., joins the Priority Health provider network in August, strengthening Priority Health's commitment to Southwestern Michigan.

Expansion into Oscoda, Ogemaw and Iosco counties ensures that Priority Health covers all of the northern Lower Peninsula.

In January, Priority Health launches an initiative to support five primary care practices in making the transition to a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. This new approach in primary care supports care coordination, encourages enhanced access, expanded hours and collaborative communication between patients and physicians.

Priority Health releases a completely revised Find a Doctor online provider directory tool in January which enables members to find specialists, hospitals, primary care providers and other services in their plan's network and their location.


Priority Health ends the year with subscribers in 66 of 68 counties in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, and continuing growth especially on the east side of the state.

In November, our three PriorityMedicareSM Medicare Advantage plans are the only Medicare plans in Michigan to earn a 5-star ranking from the federal Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

US News & World Report magazine once again lists Priority Health's HMO/POS/PPO health plans and our Medicaid plan among the nation's best in October.

On two consecutive days in September, Priority Health sponsors the Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic bicycle race in downtown Grand Rapids and the first Ann Arbor Cycling Classic. Hundreds of riders, from kids to international professionals, compete.

In September, Priority Health honors four Michigan seniors with Senior Impact Awards for volunteering in their communities.

Ten Michigan schools win $1,000 from Priority Health in May for their gym and wellness programs in recognition of healthy ideas sent in by their fourth-grade students.


In November, our HMO plan is ranked 11th in the nation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, as reported in U.S. News & World Report.

The Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP) honors Priority Health's asthma management program and online Common Costs tool with their statewide Pinnacle awards in mid-September.

On September 8, Priority Health sponsors the first Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic bicycle race on a 1.2 km course around downtown Grand Rapids. Hundreds of riders, from kids to international professionals, race over the brick streets for a $20,000 combined purse.

In July, the company launches HealthbyChoice® Incentives, a new consumer-engaged health plan with two levels of benefits linked to wellness criteria.

Foote Health System of Jackson, Mich., announces its decision to transition the services provided by Physicians Health Plan of South Michigan (PHPSM) to Priority Health in June.

On April 1, Priority Health purchases Care Choices in Eastern Michigan and welcomes 120,000 new members, 40 hospitals and 7,300 physicians to its service.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency awards Priority Health's asthma management program a National Exemplary Award.


On December 8, Holland Hospital redeems its shares in Priority Health.

In October, our Medicare service area expands to 11 northwest Michigan counties for 2007.

We introduce the first phase of cost transparency to Michigan in October with the launch of our Common Costs tool and new approved drug search tool, helping consumers learn more about the actual costs of drugs and medical care.

U.S. News & World Report, collaborating with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), ranks Priority Health 13th in the nation in October.

In August, the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) rates Priority Health number one in Michigan and second in the nation.

On April 13, we announce our sponsorship of the Priority Health Cycling Team, a team of nine professional riders, one of only 15 International Cycling Union (UCI) Continental teams in the United States.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) again awards Priority Health's commercial and Medicaid products an Excellent accreditation in April.

On March 21 we open our Saginaw office.


A gala Open House in December celebrates the opening of Priority Health's new Holland offices.

In October Priority Health expands into the Saginaw, Michigan, market.

Priority Health purchases the three Waters Circle Office Park buildings it occupies from the Waters Corporation in October.

In September, the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), the country's leading evaluator of health plan performance, rates Priority Health number 1 in the nation.

In July, Priority Health expands into Cheboygan, Mich.

On June 7, the HealthbyChoice program receives a Pinnacle Award from the Michigan Association of Health Plans as the best Community Outreach/Partnership program in Michigan.

In June, Priority Health's newsletter for members, Health Journal, wins a Merit Award at the 22nd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards.

Priority Health is the first company to offer a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage in West Michigan. PriorityMedicareSM, launched June 13, offers Medicare-eligible individuals both in-network and out-of-network benefits.

In February, Priority Health launches new consumer-driven health care plans: PriorityHSASM and PriorityHRASM.


In December, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) names Priority Health's Medicaid plan one of the top 10 in the nation in quality of care.

Kim Horn, president and CEO, receives the 2004 Ellis J. Bonner Outstanding Achievement Award from the Michigan Association of Health Plans. It recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on health care in Michigan and demonstrate exemplary service and leadership.

Priority Health continues to grow, serving more than 6,500 employers; nearly 437,000 members; 3,600 health care providers; and 33 hospitals.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ranks Priority Health as one of the nation's top 10 health plans in consumer satisfaction. Priority Health is the only Michigan health plan to receive this recognition.

Priority Health's Spring 2003 issue of "Health Beat" earns an honorable mention in international competition at the 2004 Communicator Awards.


The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) awards Priority Health's commercial and Medicaid products with Excellent accreditation.

Priority Health is recognized as one of West Michigan's 101 Best & Brightest Companies.


Tufts School of Medicine names Priority Health's Asthma Disease Management as "One of the Top Two in the Nation."

The Michigan Association of Health Plans names Priority Health's Asthma Disease Management Program as the Best Community Partnership and Outreach Program in Michigan.

The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) announces that Priority Health has earned its Innovation Award for Improving Member Compliance and Disease Management.

Health Journal, Priority Health's quarterly member magazine, receives a 2002 Bronze Award from the National Health Information Awards.


The Michigan Association of Health Plans honors Priority Health with a first place for its Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program and a bronze award for its efforts to reduce member complaints about claims payment.

The Women's Resource Center awards Priority Health with the Women in the Workplace Award for Advancing Women in Leadership.


Priority Health expands its Muskegon market in partnership with Physicians Health Plan of Muskegon. Priority Health now serves more than 6,000 employers and 315,444 members; its network comprises 2,271 doctors and 27 hospitals.

The Health Information and Action Group (HIAG) awards Priority Health with five Best-In-Class awards for its Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Care Management, Patient Safety, Clinical Guidelines and Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and Disease Management.


Priority Health adds Northern Michigan to its service area by merging with NorthMed HMO in Traverse City.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) awards Priority Health's HMO product with Excellent accreditation.


Detroit Free Press rates Michigan Health Plans and gives Priority Health the only A+ rating.

U.S News and World Report names America's Top 40 HMOs; Priority Health is the only Michigan plan to make the list.

MEDSTAT and J.D. Power and Associates report Priority Health as #1 in the Grand Rapids/ Muskegon area.

Priority Health enrolls the first MiChild member in its new MiChild HMO product.

1997 Priority Health is licensed by the State of Michigan to operate a Medicaid HMO product.
1996 Priority Health is named Quality Leader #1 by the National Research Corporation.
1995 Priority Health earns full accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
1993 Priority Health earns one-year accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
1992 Priority Health is formed by the merger of Butterworth HMO and Lakeshore HMO.
1986 Butterworth HMO opens covering three employer groups and 1,261 members with 187 doctors and one hospital.
1985 Lakeshore HMO is founded by Holland Hospital growing to nearly 17,000 members.
Last modified: 1/21/2015
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