Michigan Medicaid Launches Initiative on Reducing Disparities at the Practice Site

Contact: Monica Kwasnik (517) 373-6096
Agency: Community Health

April 29, 2009

Michigan has been selected to participate in the Reducing Disparities at the Practice Site (RDPS) initiative, a three-year project funded by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

RDPS is being launched in four states selected through a competitive, external review process: Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. The initiative will support quality improvement in small primary care practices serving racially and ethnically diverse Medicaid beneficiaries.

A large percentage of Medicaid patients served by small practices tend to be racially and ethnically diverse - a population that faces more barriers to care, greater risk of chronic disease, and higher mortality than whites. Michigan Medicaid and partnering Managed Care Health Plans are well positioned to support these practices in improving health care quality and closing the disparities gap.

The Michigan RDPS team includes Medicaid, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Greater Detroit Area Health Council, and six participating health plans that operate in Wayne County:

- Great Lakes Health Plan

- Health Plan of Michigan

- Midwest Health Plan

- Molina Healthcare

- OmniCare Health Plan

- Total Health Care

This coalition will work with the following six selected primary care practices: Gateway Clinic, CA Murphy Family Health Center, Gratiot Center, Midwest Medical Center, the office of Drs. Stanley and Annemarie Poleck, and the office of Dr. Richard Brown.

The goal is to assist these practices in expanding their quality infrastructure and care management capacity to achieve Patient Centered Medical Home recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The practices will be encouraged to employ electronic tools, incorporate evidence-based guidelines for targeted chronic conditions, and incorporate team-based care into their operations. Practices will receive technical assistance and funding to support project implementation.

Following completion of the initiative, CHCS will disseminate findings and technical resources to assist other states and health plans in driving quality improvements in the small practice setting.