Priority Health receives 2021 MAHP Pinnacle Award for asthma management program

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – Oct. 14, 2021) Priority Health’s Medicaid Quality team was awarded with the Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP) 2021 Pinnacle Award in the Chronic Disease Management category for their Asthma Environmental Housing Program. Since 2001, MAHP has recognized health plans for achievements in addressing the challenges of a shifting health care environment through improvements in operations, clinical services, disease management and community outreach.

“We are honored to be recognized by MAHP for our work in helping members better manage household asthma triggers,” said Kristen Burleson, Director of Medicaid Outreach and Quality at Priority Health. “Asthma is the second-leading cause of preventable hospitalizations among children in Kent County and we wanted to implement a community program that would address the root issue of these asthma-related hospital visits.”

The goal for the 18-month program was to improve the housing-related aspects of poorly controlled asthma for 25 households in Kent County, Michigan. Priority Health’s Medicaid Quality team partnered with Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, Spectrum Health Visiting Nurses and others to provide in-home visits that identified and addressed household asthma triggers. A trained Healthy Housing Specialist was assigned to each household to assess, repair and remove potential environmental asthma triggers, like lead, mold, or pests. Members were also provided with tailored asthma education, an asthma management plan and engagement with a primary care provider or specialist, if necessary. The Priority Health Medicaid Quality team engaged with members throughout the duration of the program.

The program decreased overall emergency department visits by 61% and resulted in more than $675,000 in medical savings. These savings meant each household decreased spending by 23% and each individual member decreased their medical spending by 25%. The success of the program further solidified Priority Health’s longstanding commitment to personalizing member care and implementing tailored, multi-faceted interventions to drive better health outcomes.

“Better and safer environments ultimately lead to fewer emergency health concerns in our members with asthma,” Burleson noted. “This type of work demonstrates what we mean when we say that our goal is to help our members live happier and healthier lives. I am very proud of our team, our community partners and the work that is being done in this space.”

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than 1.3 million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health