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Health Biz (375)

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health’s latest business venture seeks to create a new way to deliver care by focusing on keeping people healthy, rather treating them when they’re sick.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health members who have used the insurer’s cost estimator have saved more than $6.3 million in the two years the online tool has been available.

BCBS takes steps to respond to opioid abuse

Written by | Sunday, 06 August 2017 15:47 |

Nearly one in five Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members had a prescription for an opioid filled in 2015. The dispensing rate nationally was higher, at 21.4 percent. Between 2010 and 2016, the 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans across the U.S. recorded a 493-percent spike in enrollees diagnosed with a disorder associated with opioid use. Those statistics from the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association reflect the opioid epidemic in America that in 2016 resulted in more than 33,000 overdose deaths. MiBiz spoke with Jody Gembarski, a pharmacy manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan who oversees its controlled substance work group, to discuss the association’s analysis and the role the state’s largest health insurer has in responding to the epidemic.

HOLLAND — Holland Hospital plans to begin work early next year on a $14.5 million expansion of its birthing unit to accommodate more newborn deliveries.

Federal lawmakers need to focus on what’s driving health care costs in America that in turn contributes to the rising cost of health coverage.

WYOMING — Six months into its new life as part of the University of Michigan Health System, Metro Health has a clearer view of its future based on capital investments to drive growth.

Greg Loomis doesn’t consider the clattering of construction equipment just outside his office to be a daily distraction, but rather the future of health care in Muskegon County taking shape.

What one Grand Rapids-area physician considers a form of “extortion,” others see as a necessary way to gauge how well doctors keep up with modern medicine.

The heightened use of cheaper generic drugs has not been enough to stem the rising costs of prescription medication for Americans. 

Legislation requiring doctors to use a state-run drug-monitoring system before prescribing a controlled substance represents the “start of a journey” to address the opioid epidemic in Michigan.

Employment in Michigan’s health care sector grew steadily during the first half of the decade, reaching nearly 588,000 jobs as of 2015 and generating an economic impact of about $35 billion.

GRAND RAPIDS — A medical device startup will use a new $2.1 million capital investment to prepare for larger clinical trials for its new product that treats obesity.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health plans to relocate long-term acute care to Blodgett Hospital through a partnership with a major national provider in the field.

KALAMAZOO — The launch of a clinical trial in Europe brings a Southwest Michigan medical device startup a step close to the marketplace and an eventual sale.

ZEELAND — On the heels of opening an outpatient surgery center in Grand Rapids in February, a California firm has set its sights on developing another facility in West Michigan.

KALAMAZOO — The level of hiring activity and the frequency of job changes for today’s workers has generated steady growth for companies performing alcohol and drug screening.

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