Partnership with providers leads to lower health care costs, higher patient care standards

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - July 22, 2014)
Raising health care standards statewide though partnerships with leading primary care physicians and practices is one more way Priority Health is providing access to exceptional patient care.

The physicians and practices selected for the Priority Health Quality Award have achieved 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.

"The result of our collaboration with top-performing physicians has tremendous impact - we are ensuring patients in Michigan are getting the highest quality of care possible while reducing and controlling health care costs," said Michael P. Freed, president and CEO for Priority Health.

The program's success is clearly demonstrated by the number of Priority Health members who receive preventive screenings. Preventive screenings are recognized as a cost-effective way to indentify and treat potential health problems before they develop or worsen. In the last year, more than 75% of Priority Health members received routine colorectal cancer screening exams compared to a national average of 63%. Additionally, 85% of members received childhood immunizations compared to the national average of 77%.

Another example of the program's success is demonstrated through chronic disease care. By collaborating with physicians, Priority Health has successfully helped health plan members avoid incidence of chronic disease complications for conditions such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, asthma and hypertension at rates better than state and national averages.

Since 2003, when the Quality Award was established, more than 200 health care practices have been distinguished with this honor. Priority Health has awarded practices with $175 million in support of primary care, over and above standard payment for services. The company expects to pay physicians $22 million in 2014, based on their performance in 2013.

About Priority Health:

Priority Health is an award-winning, Michigan-based non-profit health plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the people it serves. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members in their health, delivering effective health and disease management programs and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans nationwide offering wellness programs accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization which also rated it among the best health plans in the nation. The State of Michigan named the Priority Health HMO the benchmark plan for all individual and group HMO plans to model.

Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 health care providers nationwide.