Blue Cross Helps Make Michigan One of the Safest States for Prostate Biopsies

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer—it’s estimated that there will be more than 220,000 new cases this year and more than two million men in the U.S. are prostate cancer survivors.

But there is some good news: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC) have released findings showing that Michigan is one of the safest states to have a prostate biopsy. Since MUSIC began collecting data in 2012, the number of hospitalizations due to post-prostate biopsy infections in Michigan has gone down by more than 50 percent.

What is MUSIC

MUSIC is what’s known as a Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI). It is an agreement among physicians (235 urologists participate—nearly 85 percent of the urologists in Michigan), hospitals and Blue Cross to work together to radically improve prostate cancer care in Michigan.

How it happened

Because the vast majority of post-prostate biopsy hospitalizations were due to an infection caused by a specific antibiotic-resistant bacteria, experts focused their efforts there. Physicians developed two different processes for treating patients before they underwent a biopsy procedure. One way was to swab the area, test to see if it came back positive for the antibiotic-resistant bacteria and, if so, give the patient appropriate antibiotics before the biopsy. The second way was to assume the patient has the antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the area (20 percent of men do) and treat him with a combination of antibiotics beforehand. These two solutions have worked together to result in the huge decrease in infection rates.

The Blue Cross connection

The MUSIC program is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and recently received a Best of Blue Award for Clinical Distinction from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

This post was originally published on MiBluesPerspectives, the official blog of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.