issue of Medicine at Michigan highlights our outstanding M.D./Ph.D.
program for medical students keen about careers in the science
of medicine. We are expanding this program, and building a base
for clinical translation, as well as laboratory work. The opportunities
here at Michigan during the next decade will be tremendous,
as the Life Sciences Institute and the Life Sciences Initiative
on campus, plus the Life Sciences Research Corridor of the state
of Michigan, enable us to greatly enhance our facilities, equipment,
faculty, research and technology transfer programs.
We are also making remarkable innovations in the delivery of
clinical services, including the role of M-CARE (see page 50).
M-CARE is an important element of the University of Michigan
Health System. Founded in 1986, M-CARE currently has 180,000
subscriber-members, including more than 50,000 faculty, staff,
graduate students, retirees and their dependents at the University
of Michigan campuses.
We recruited M-CAREs executive director, Zelda Geyer-Sylvia,
from Kaiser Northeast in October 1998; she has more than 15
years experience in the HMO world. Zelda has done a remarkable
job of reshaping her executive team, with colleagues who have
local, regional and out-of-state experience. They have markedly
improved member satisfaction and physician satisfaction, enhanced
relationships with key employer clients (including the U-M)
and their provider network, and worked with the U-M Health Systems
Faculty Group Practice and the Hospitals and Health Centers
to assure competitive payment for our clinical services. M-CARE
has been an essential component of our development of innovative
partnerships directly with Ford Motor Company (Partnership Health)
and with General Motors (Activecare).
M-CARE has earned an enviable record of regional and national
recognition for quality and leadership. With the guidance of
Medical Director Robert Church, D.O., M-CARE received maximal
accreditation for its commercial, Medicaid and Medicare HMO
plans from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
M-CARE was commended for excellence in service, quality improvement
programs and consumer protection. M-CARE was one of only 38
health plans nationwide and the only one in Michigan
to have a quality initiative highlighted in the first
edition of Quality Profiles: In Pursuit of Excellence, published
by NCQA with support from Pfizer, Inc.
The Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) scores
used by employers and the media to compare health plans put
M-CARE in the top 10 percent nationally for mammography, prenatal
care, childhood immunizations and comprehensive diabetes care.
Regionally, M-CARE received a five-star (highest) rating from
the Greater Detroit Area Health Council in the "Staying
Moreover, General Motors rated M-CARE quality and price an
outstanding value. Thus, GM offered its employees the lowest
employee contribution for their monthly health insurance premium
if they chose M-CARE and 2,500 additional GM employees
did so in 2000. Each year for several years an increasing percentage
of U-M employees have chosen M-CARE.
Financially, the M-CARE team has turned around a series of
annual losses and completed calendar year 2000 with a positive
margin and a good contribution to reserves. The marketing strategy
now focuses primarily on seven counties in southeast Michigan.
We anticipate a moderate growth rate, which the current strategic
plan shows reaching about 250,000 members after five years.
The leaders and staff of M-CARE are active participants in
many initiatives in the Health System and excellent University
citizens. I am proud that my family and I and so many U-M colleagues
are members of M-CARE.
Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D., Ph.D.
U-M Executive Vice President
for Medical Affairs and CEO,
U-M Health System