CSHSC-MI Hospital, Health Plan Strengthen Market Positions

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The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), as part of the Community Tracking Study (CTS), studied how health care is organzinaed, financed and delivered in the Lansing, Michigan metropolitan area. Researchers interviewed more than 40 health care leaders, including representatives of major hospital systems, physician groups, insurers, employers, benefits consultants, community health centers, state and local health agencies, and others.

The study found three key developments:

  • Physicians and patients were moving from Ingham Regional Medical Center to Sparrow, which is increasingly regarded as the go-to hospital in the community for a growing number of services.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), while increasing dominance in the health plan market, has come under greater scrutiny from federal and state authorities, culminating in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the plan for allegedly engaging in anticompetitive behavior related to hospital contracting.
  • With the Ingham County Health Department acting as a major provider of primary care services and convener of initiatives to improve access to care, the well-organized safety net has expanded to meet growing demand, with the help of federal stimulus and other public and private funding.