DETROIT, Feb. 23, 2015 – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced $200,000 in grant funding to help safety net providers expand access to critical specialty care for Michigan’s underinsured and uninsured residents. People with limited resources often have difficulty accessing specialty care, a form of medical intervention focused on treating a specific condition or area of the body. The deadline for qualified clinics to submit a letter of interest is March 6.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has a long history of working to increase access to health care,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president, Blue Cross. “These grants will help numerous uninsured and underinsured patients receive quality care. The grants also encourage the sharing of best practices among safety net providers, which helps to close the gaps in specialty care throughout Michigan.”
Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to a maximum of three, Michigan-based safety net organizations to improve access to medical specialty services for underinsured and uninsured patients. Awards will go to organizations focused on expanding access to medical care in areas such as cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, neurology, OB-GYN, psychiatry, ophthalmology and orthopedic surgery. Eligible organizations include free, hybrid and rural health clinics, as well as federally qualified-, look-alike- and tribal health centers.
Audrey Harvey, director and chief executive officer of the BCBSM Foundation, said, “We know providing this support to resource-strapped clinics will help them increase capacity and provide much needed services in underserved communities. That’s why we invite all qualifying health organizations to submit a letter of interest and partner with us to strengthen care in Michigan.”
The grant comes as national data indicates the need for medical specialty services doubled between 1999 and 2009, from 4.8 percent to 9.3 percent. Estimates further project a shortage of medical specialists of as many as 8,000 physicians for all specialties by 2020.
Applications are available to accompany letters of interest at www.bcbsm.com/safetynet or www.bcbsm.com/foundation. The letter of interest must be no more than three pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font. The submission must include a resume of the person implementing the proposed program. Organizations selected to submit a full proposal will be notified by April 10.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.