Value Partnerships featured in national ABIM Building Trust initiative

By: Debbie Reinheimer

Opioid epidemic Dr. Nurse

The Value Partnerships portfolio is featured as a trust-building practice in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Building Trust Initiative, launched this month. The initiative recognizes the importance of trust in health care as essential to better collaboration among health professionals and better health outcomes for patients.

Through the website, ABIM is sharing trust-building practices from health systems across the U.S. so that health professionals can learn and implement them locally.

Value Partnerships was selected as a trust-building practice because of its results and reputation. Since the Value Partnerships portfolio launched in 2005, participation has grown to more than 20,000 physicians and more than 130 hospitals statewide.  The results of the Value Partnerships program are routinely published in peer reviewed literature and have been profiled internationally on five continents in over 30 countries.

“The learnings and best practices shared through Value Partnerships affect the care provided to all Michigan patients, regardless of their health plan,” says Tom Leyden, director II, Value Partnerships.

The programs’ structure emphasizes collaboration among participants and engages health care providers in the design of new care processes. This approach differentiates the portfolio from other quality improvement or quality incentive programs, and it enables Blue Cross to have strong relationships with our provider partners.

While the portfolio has been around since 2005, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that truly showcased how the Value Partnerships philosophy and structure created trust among Blue Cross and provider partners.

One of the program areas within Value Partnerships is the Collaborative Quality Initiatives, or CQIs, where hospitals and physicians across the state collect, share, and analyze data, then design and implement changes to improve patient care, decrease complications, and lower costs in the most common and costly areas of surgical and hospital care. Within weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Michigan, more than 500 nurses and physicians from hospitals across Michigan began collecting clinically rich data on hospitalized COVID patients to address the pandemic and search for best practices on treating patients.

“Hospitals and providers saw a need and voluntarily jumped in to work together and solve their shared challenges,” says Leyden. “That shows they trust each other and the Value Partnerships collaborative structure.”

Over the next several months, the ABIM will spotlight the Value Partnerships trust-building practices through webinars, social media, articles and the website.