Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and 12 hospitals across the state work to improve quality of hip and knee replacement surgery


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and 12 hospitals throughout the state have launched a new initiative aimed at improving the quality of hip and knee replacement for thousands of Michigan residents who annually undergo these procedures. The initiative builds upon an award-winning model of collaboration between the Blues and hospitals that has improved quality and reduced unnecessary costs for other surgical and medical procedures in the state, saving $232 million statewide. The longer-term approach could reduce the need for patients to undergo subsequent surgeries to replace or repair the implant.

Data from participating hospitals will be collected by the newly formed Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative, and then used to develop best practices for the procedures. Orthopedic surgeons statewide will meet regularly to review the data, share information and identify improvements to achieve effective, quality results.

“Our data registry will first focus on how to improve outcomes right after surgery, helping reduce the number of infections and other complications,” says Brian Hallstrom, M.D., clinical leader of the arthroplasty initiative and clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Michigan. “Then we’ll also take a longer-term approach to see what changes could improve the outcome, such as implant choice or other factors.”

Dr. Hallstrom estimates a typical hip or knee replacement surgery costs $20,000 to $30,000. Re-replacement or revision surgeries can cost three to four times more, and usually require longer hospital stays.

“We’re aiming to catch problems with implants and other aspects of surgery, so we can avoid complications and revision surgeries. This would significantly reduce the trouble and the pain for patients and the cost to the health system in general,” says Hallstrom.

Participating hospitals include:

Chelsea Community Hospital

Crittenton Hospital Medical Center (Rochester)

Mercy Health Partners General Campus (Muskegon)

McLaren – Greater Lansing

Mercy Health Partners – Hackley Campus (Muskegon)

Mercy Hospital – Cadillac

Sparrow Hospital (Lansing)

Spectrum Health Butterwork Hospital (Grand Rapids)

St. John Providence Hospital and Medical Centers (Southfield/Novi locations)

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Ann Arbor)

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital (Pontiac)

University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor)

“This new initiative is one of 12 collaborations that the Michigan Blues support in partnership with hospitals across Michigan,” says David Share, M.D., M.P.H., vice president, Value Partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “These collaborations are saving valuable health care dollars by increasing safety, reducing complications and improving the quality of medical and surgical procedures for over 200,000 patients in Michigan each year.”