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Genesee Health Plan Joins MPRO Effort To Address Disparities in Cardiac Health

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FARMINGTON HILLS — MPRO, Michigan’s Quality Improvement Organization, announced that Genesee Health Plan is joining its Disparities and Cardiac Health Program, a special project headed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The program, one of only two nationally, supports ongoing efforts by MPRO to improve quality of care in Michigan, as well as the goals of the Million Hearts Initiative which aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The Disparities and Cardiac Health Program initiative will bring together providers from Wayne and Genesee counties to review, share and implement successful strategies for improving cardiac health for the patients they serve, with a primary focus on racial and ethnic populations that traditionally have shown to lag behind in managing hypertension and cardiac disease.

“We are excited to begin this important work, in particular, addressing some of the disparities that are prevalent in the level and quality of cardiac care available to underserved populations in Wayne and Genesee counties,” said Nancy Vecchioni, vice president of Medicare Operations for MPRO. “This partnership with Genesee Health Plan is a critical step in establishing community-based networks of providers and other stakeholders who can help achieve the goals of this initiative.”

The Genesee Health Plan provides basic health services to about 25,000 adults in Genesee County who do not have health insurance. Services provided include cancer screenings, doctor visits, X-rays and basic prescriptions.

“Working on initiatives that address the disparities within populations is an honor,” said Jim Malinowski, COO and Linda Hamacher, President and CEO of Genesee Health Plan. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with our community partners on efforts that help to improve the care and decrease healthcare disparities, based on race, age, gender and ethnicity, of those we serve.”

MPRO will collaborate with select Michigan health care providers to target health measures that improve cardiac health based on sharing of best practices, community outreach, monthly Learning Action Network presentations with a focus on minority care and cardiac health and health IT.

Some of the assistance will include:
* Technical support and assistance for report development and documentation
* Assistance with implementation of strategies and interventions to improve rates of aspirin use, blood pressure control, LDL/cholesterol management and smoking cessation
* Assistance with implementation of care management and patient self-management interventions

MPRO is an independent nonprofit organization and a national leader in health care quality improvement and medical review. MPRO provides its expertise across the health care continuum including the following settings: hospital, nursing home, home health, physician office and managed care. MPRO serves as the federally designated quality improvement organization (QIO) for Michigan under contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). MPRO also provides consultative services, medical and utilization review and data analysis to federal agencies, state Medicaid, and public health agencies, health care facilities, and private health plans and other third-party payers. Based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, MPRO’s staff consists of physician reviewers, clinical quality improvement and patient safety experts and statisticians.

Launched in 2001, the Genesee Health Plan provides basic health services to about 25,000 adults in Genesee County who don’t have health insurance. Services provided include cancer screenings, doctor visits, X-rays and basic prescriptions. The Genesee Health Plan takes a hands-on approach to helping patients. GHP uses a team of disease managers and health navigators who work individually with members who have chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease.

More at www.mpro.org.

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