MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Petoskey Internal Medicine Practice)

PETOSKEY: Michigan continues to lead the nation in Patient-Centered Health Care as shown by the honor received by Petoskey Internal Medicine Practice, receiving the Blue Cross Blue Shield designation as “Patient-Centered Medical Home.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan announced this week the designation of 1,551 primary care practices across Michigan as “patient-centered medical homes,” a nine percent increase over the number of practices designated in 2014. For Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan in Petoskey, the 2015 designation makes this the fourth consecutive year for the designation.

“At Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan, our singular goal is to provide exceptional patient-centered care,” explains Internal Medicine Physician Paul Blanchard, MD. “The PCMH designation is affirmation of our long-standing commitment to continuous improvement and to creating strong patient relationships that foster prevention and wellness.” Petoskey-based Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan is an 11-provider practice, specializing in adult primary care, offering preventative care and chronic condition management.

Located in 78 Michigan counties and including more than 4,340 individual physicians, the number of designated practices make the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-led program the largest of its kind in the United States for the seventh consecutive year.

According to BCBS: The designated practices are recognized for intensified efforts to coordinate patients’ health care through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services. Thanks to the Blue Cross program, doctors can better monitor their patients’ conditions, coordinate care with specialists and ensure people are getting the right care, at the right time, in the right setting.

“Through our efforts on the Patient-Centered Medical Home, Blue Cross is demonstrating that ongoing collaboration between insurers, physicians and patients can lead to higher quality care and lower costs,” said Daniel J. Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan president and CEO. “The medical home is health care reform in action – it’s improving lives, improving care and lowering costs.”

Recognized by awards from health and insurance organizations nationally, the Blue Cross Patient-Centered Medical Home program has saved an estimated $512 million over six years through disease prevention, reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and management of common acute and chronic medical conditions that have improved patient care outcomes.

BCBS 2015 data shows that patients who visited Blue Cross PCMH-designated practices required fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits than other patients. For example, adult patients in PCMH-designated practices had a 26 percent lower rate of hospital admissions for common conditions that respond to office-based care. Blue Cross-designated PCMH practices also had an 8.7 percent lower rate of adult high-tech radiology use, and a 10.9 percent lower rate of adult ER visits. PCMH-designated practices had a 16.3 percent lower rate of pediatric ER visits, and a 22.4 lower rate of pediatric ER visits for common chronic and acute conditions, such as asthma.

“The PCMH model assures patients of our commitment to creating strong provider-patient relationships,” Blanchard adds. “When patients are a part of the health care process, communication is more open, outcomes are better, and health care costs are lower — it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The Blue Cross Patient-Centered Medical Home Program touches roughly 1.25 million Blue Cross members who visit designated practices. However, the benefits of improved care extend to all patients visiting these offices, not just Blue Cross-insured patients.

The number of physicians earning PCMH designation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has increased each year since the program launched in 2009, with 1,200 designated physicians. Designation extends for one year, July 1 through June 30. Physician practices work to earn designation each year. This year, 91 percent of practices designated in 2014 were re-designated.

For more information about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, visit Information about Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan can be found at or by calling 231.487.2460.



Established in 1999, Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan provides a full complement of high-quality health services for adults. A complete staff including nine doctors and two nurse practitioners have years of experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of most health related conditions, including chronic and acute illnesses.


The PCMH initiative is part of Value Partnerships, an array of collaborative initiatives among physicians, hospitals and Blue Cross, aimed at improving quality and outcomes in medical care. To learn more about these programs, visit

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit