Seven Michigan health plans from across the state submitted 25 ground-breaking programs to the Michigan Association of Health Plans Foundation Pinnacle Awards, leading the health care industry with innovative programs to improve patient health care, lower costs and increase services to Michigan citizens.
The winners were presented at a reception on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. Molina Healthcare and Meridian each captured three awards, and McLaren Health Plan and Health Alliance Plan each received one as well.
MAHP shares the winning programs among members, helping them adopt best practices throughout the state’s health plans. This year’s winners address issues from telemedicine expansion and food insecurity to accessible diabetes management for patients.
“MAHP members continue to address key issues around the state with innovative programs, and I’m pleased to see how our plans improve the health of their members and their communities,” said Dominick Pallone, executive director of MAHP. “It’s always an honor to recognize these achievements and watch many be adopted around the state and nation.”
Health plans submit new programs to a judging panel comprised of health care experts and lawmakers. The panel reviewed submissions in depth before selecting winners in various categories for commercial health insurers and Medicaid health plans. Full details on each winner are available at www.mahp.org.
Following are brief descriptions of winning programs:
2022 Business Operational Performance: Government Programs
“In-House Medical Record Abstraction”
Wellcare, Meridian’s Medicare line of business in Michigan, utilizes in-house staff to complete medical record retrieval and abstraction, both year-round and during the annual HEDIS® hybrid project. Using internal staff who were already onboarded cost Meridian a fraction of what would have been spent to use an external vendor. In addition to cost savings and effectiveness, in-house abstraction improves provider satisfaction and allows for strategic revision and adjustments based on the needs and goals of the Meridian quality program.
2022 Chronic Disease Management: Medicaid
“Diabetes P.A.C.E. Program”
McLaren Health Plan’s Diabetes P.A.C.E. program (P.A.C.E.) is a comprehensive strategy to improve the health outcomes for members with diabetes and help our members “stay a step ahead” of diabetes complications. Goals include the early detection of diabetes complications through preventive annual care exams and improving health care inequities by addressing social barriers. Interventions include member and provider financial incentives to complete annual screening exams, financial incentives for McLaren hospitals to coordinate discharge after-care, lists of the members who have not completed their annual exams shared with the provider’s office so outreach and scheduling can occur, and nurse care coordination.
2022 Chronic Disease Management: Medicare
“Livongo Diabetes Management Program”
MeridianComplete partners with Livongo to provide a comprehensive diabetes program to our Medicaid-Medicare Plan (MMP) members. This program was launched to increase HbA1c control through remote blood glucose monitoring and supplemental clinical support. It also demonstrates measurable, sustainable improvement on member engagement and health. 113 MMP members with diabetes enrolled in the program. Of these, 90% of members activated their remote glucose monitoring device with an average engagement of 25 times per month.
2022 Clinical Service Improvement: Government Programs
“HAP Palliative Care Program”
HAP wanted to offer a program that allows members with serious illness to be home with their families, especially during end-of-life care, which increases the quality of life. The overarching goal of the program is to improve the symptoms of the disease process while decreasing hospitalizations. Since the program began in late 2019, more than 1,000 HAP members have enrolled, with hospitalizations among this group having decreased by up to 58% compared to similar cohort at end of life.
2022 Community Outreach: Collaborative
Meridian piloted a partnership with Papa, Inc. (Papa) to provide companionship services to Medicaid members aged 45 and over with a high rate of Emergency Department (ED) utilization (five or more ED visits within the previous year). Because of the success of the pilot, Meridian has continued the partnership past the six-month pilot. Papa is a unique community resource focused on decreasing loneliness and social isolation, promoting health and wellness, and increasing quality of life. Papa meets these goals by connecting Meridian members to a Pal who provides companionship, assistance with everyday tasks, transportation, and more.
2022 Community Outreach: Single Plan
“Providing Fresh Food to Underserved Populations”
Molina Healthcare launched a program aimed at providing fresh produce to low-income residents facing racial and ethnic disparities. This effort focused on geographies where these inequalities were higher than average including Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, Muskegon, and the greater Grand Rapids area. The goal of the program was to improve nutrition, overall wellness, and improve equitable access to healthy food. Through this program, Molina sponsored fresh food boxes that were distributed to Medicaid beneficiaries and the community at local food pantries, farmers markets, and other community locales. Between April 2021 through May 2022, Molina sponsored a total of 44 produce distributions, serving more than 10,000 individuals.
“Telemedicine Expansion Program”
Molina Healthcare recognized the COVID-19 pandemic and public health emergency exacerbated already existing healthcare disparities for those with behavioral health (BH) needs and inspired Molina to implement an innovative solution to address access to BH services. In 2020, they implemented a telemedicine program as an alternative option for members and providers who could not access or provide in-person services during the pandemic. When Molina implemented the program, the BH telemedicine rate increased to 282.5 visits per thousand from 2.7 visits pre-pandemic. This increase was sustained in 2021 with a total of 338.6 visits per thousand.
2022 Communications and Public Relations Campaigns
“Update your Contact Information”
Molina Healthcare recognized the challenge of obtaining accurate contact information for Medicaid beneficiaries is an industry-wide issue. Molina sought to improve this data by incentivizing members with a chance to win a prize if they sent in updated contact information. Receiving updated email address and phone numbers allows Molina to communicate key information to members through multiple channels including email and text. These campaigns exceeded expectations by receiving response rates of 3.4% or 5,100 in 2019; 4.6% or 6,850 in 2020; and 4.7% or 7,000 in 2021. Molina deployed six unique opt-in text and email campaigns asking members to opt-in to receive texts and email communications from Molina. This allows Molina to quickly connect members to health information and urgent messages.