Quality Collaborations

In 1997, a group of five Michigan hospitals joined with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and Blue Care Network to study variation in angioplasty procedures and treatment. Recommendations from the group’s analysis contributed to dramatic decreases in emergency bypass surgeries and other complications.

Since then, around 20 initiatives have launched to address many of the most common and costly areas of surgical and medical care in Michigan. We call them Collaborative Quality Initiatives, or CQIs. Hospitals and physicians across the state collect, share and analyze data, then design and implement changes to improve patient care.

It’s working. Five of the longest-running CQIs have saved an estimated $1.4 billion in statewide health care costs, due to decreased complications and improved patient outcomes. Much of the success comes from the three-part approach to each initiative:

  • Funding from the Blues enables hospitals and physicians to work in a collaborative environment, providing resources for data collection and analysis along with administrative oversight.
  • A separate coordinating center serves as a data warehouse, conducts data audits, performs data analyses,  generates comparative performance reports, and convenes participant meetings.
  • Participants work together by sharing data and best practices to improve patient care throughout the state of Michigan.

This award-winning model is the first of its kind, nationally, and is highly regarded as an innovative approach to improving health care quality and value. Findings from these initiatives have been extensively published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

For more information about participating in a Collaborative Quality Initiative, please contact the CQI Administration Team at CQIPrograms@bcbsm.com.

Coordinating Centers

Each initiative uses a coordinating center that receives demographic and procedural data from participants to identify appropriate use and best practices. The center reviews data quality and monitors participating sites to ensure data validity. A physician champion serves as director of the coordinating center for each initiative.


Participating providers submit timely and accurate data directly to the coordinating center or data warehouse. In addition, participants actively share data, cooperate with data audits, learn from best practices and implement improvement efforts within their facilities.


These initiatives have been recognized with many awards including:

  • 2007

    eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Award
    National Business Coalition on Health

  • '06, '11, '12, '15

    Best of Blue Award
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, for collaborative efforts in excellence and innovation

  • 2011

    Cancer Center Innovator Award
    Foley & Lardner, LLP, for innovative payment reform for and improvement in oncology treatment

  • 2014

    Accelerator Award by Clinical Innovation + Technology Magazine

  • 2014

    Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) Impact Accelerator Award

  • 2015

    Dorland health Platinum Award
    For Health Information Technology Systems/Quality Reporting Systems

  • 2016

    MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety & Quality Leadership Award
    Physician Leadership Award given to Hitinder S. Gurm, MD, associate professor of internal medicine, University of Michigan Health System, for his leadership of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Cardiovascular Consortium - PCI Collaborative Quality Initiative

  • 2011, 2014, 2015

    Spirit of Collaboration Award
    Michigan Cancer Consortium, for contributing to the improvement of cancer care in Michigan

  • 2016

    Best Published Paper in Robotic Surgery
    Best Paper in Robotic Surgery Published in European Urology in 2016

Current Collaborations

Bariatric surgery
Blood clot prevention
Cardiothoracic surgery
Care Transitions
Emergency Medicine
General surgery
Hospital medicine
Knee and hip replacement
Obstetrics Initiative
Radiation oncology
Spine surgery
Value collaborative