GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health announced it has joined the Michigan Primary Care Transformation project. The project is aimed at reforming primary care payment models and expanding the capabilities of patient-centered medical homes throughout the state.

As a participant, Priority Health will use its extensive experience with physician quality and incentive programs to further support primary care in Michigan and improve health care coordination and management, practice transformation and performance outcomes.

“For years, primary care practices have asked for incentive programs and insurers to be aligned,” said Burt VanderLaan, medical director for Priority Health. “Participating in the Michigan project allows us to further explore how physicians, insurers and government programs can work together to transform the delivery of health care. We see strong alignment between the MiPCT project goals and the work Priority Health has already done to support primary care and ensure the best health care outcomes for patients.”

For more than 20 years, Priority Health has been a leader in patient-centered care and has a proven record of working with physicians to improve health outcomes. Through its Partners in Performance (PIP) program, Priority Health encourages and rewards the quality care of primary care physicians. It has paid $200 million in support of primary care over and above standard payment since the program launched in 1996.

Priority Health officially joined the MiPCT project July 1. MiPCT is a three-year project aimed at improving health in the state, making health care more affordable and enhancing the patient experience. It is the largest PCMH project in the nation with 38 Physician/Physician Hospital Organizations representing nearly 400 primary care practices and 1,800 primary care physicians.

“The addition of Priority Health to the MiPCT project is an important step forward, and we’re eager to work in partnership with them to improve health care delivery for the citizens of Michigan,” said James K. Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. “True transformation can occur only when health insurers, providers and hospitals all work together to deliver a common model of care, and Priority Health’s entry into MiPCT will take us another step closer to achieving that goal.”

In its attempt to support primary care, the MiPCT project seeks to:
• Align incentives for physicians
• Improve management of chronic conditions; and reduce emergency department visits for routine care that could be supported in a doctor’s office and reduce hospital readmissions
• Address end of life issues through consistent training of primary care physicians around advanced directives and palliative care
• Ensure all participating physician organizations have common training, expectations and reporting mechanisms

As a nonprofit company, Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features more than 900,000 practitioners nationwide – which also represents 95 percent of the healthcare providers credentialed in Michigan. For more information, visit


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