HealthForward Event Focused on Bridging the Gaps Between Purchasers and Providers

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative hosted its third and final educational event for 2016. HealthForward’s Employer-Provider Collaborations Luncheon, held on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in partnership with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), focused on bridging the gaps between purchasers and providers of health care and find common goals, metrics, and processes. Attendees included representatives from large self-funded purchasers, hospital and provider executives, and other key health care stakeholders.

Ray Fabius, co-founder and president of HealthNEXT, delivered a keynote address that provided insight into what other parts of the country are doing to achieve population health for patients. He also outlined the need to focus efforts on preventing and managing chronic disease, as well as stakeholders working together to encourage healthy behaviors.

In the following session, a panel of hospital and physician group executives provided insight into what their organization is doing to drive fee-for-value health services, including greater coordination of care, more efficient processes and new payment models. The final panel represented other stakeholders in health including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Mercer. This group discussed how their organizations are assisting the transitions and drive to fee-for-value as well as greater population health outcomes.

This intimate luncheon provided a strong kickoff to the Chamber’s 2017 goal of convening various health stakeholders to enhance the health of the workforce in metro Detroit and make the region more competitive.

Special Edition: 2013 Detroit Policy Conference Engages Business Community in Timely City Discussion

For full news coverage of the 2013 Detroit Policy Conference, click here. You can also view videos and photos from the event here.

2013 Detroit Policy Conference Inspires Engagement, Sparks Timely Discussion

Nearly 600 of Detroit’s government, business and community leaders gathered today to take part in a day dedicated to Detroit’s success during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2013 Detroit Policy Conference. The Conference discussion continued online, with tweets streaming live throughout the day on MLIVE Buzz Boards located throughout the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah also explained to Conference attendees Charter One’s unique Growing Communities program, which provides microgrants to vendors and farmers at Eastern Market who then use the funds to grow their businesses. The Growing Communities Market Refreshment Breaks between Conference sessions highlighted this program and followed the Conference theme of responsible corporate citizenship for shared growth. To watch the video of Baruah’s speech, click here.

Rock Ventures’ Matt Cullen Talks Opportunity in DetroitBeginning the morning keynote sessions, Rock Ventures President and CEO Matt Cullen took the stage to highlight the array of projects taking place throughout the city through the Rock Ventures portfolio and others with the goal of providing citizens a dynamic place to live, work and play. He outlined in detail the progress made in bringing business back into the city through talent attraction, greater quality of life opportunities and increased redevelopment efforts. He also talked about the Rock Ventures/Quicken Loans community campaign, “Opportunity Detroit.” The campaign focuses on promoting business opportunities in Detroit and was showcased on a commercial featuring Kid Rock, which aired nationally during World Series Game 4 and during the Thanksgiving Day Lions game. To view the video of Cullen’s keynote speech, click here.

Dr. Richard Florida Focuses on Importance of Creativity to Economic Success

Best-selling author and renowned “urbanist” Dr. Richard Florida took the Detroit Policy Conference stage this morning to quantify Detroit’s continued comeback. Florida, who recently completed a five-part video series titled “Detroit Rising,” stressed the importance of tackling urban development with an entrepreneurial spirit. During one of the high points of his remarks, Florida said that if you had asked him if Detroit could recover the way it has 10 years ago, he would’ve said no. He noted that he would’ve given the city credit for having plenty to build on, but that this amount of progress is impressive.

He said that this is an economic time driven not by knowledge or technology or corporations, but that of a creative class. He said the key to nurturing and growing this type of developing economy, especially in a city like Detroit, is a defined transit strategy like the M-1 Rail and the development and incubation of the service industry. This session was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. To watch the full speech, click here.

Morning Panelists Re-Imagine Detroit’s Greatest Institutional Assets

Following the morning keynote sessions, the Conference split into concurrent breakout sessions with topics ranging from the food and creative industries in Detroit to the city’s greatest assets. One of these sessions, “Re-Imagining Detroit’s Assets: Leadership, Policy and a Strong Urban Core,” featured panelists including Larry Alexander, chairman, Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority; Graham Beal, president, Detroit Institute of Arts; Thomas Naughton, CEO, Wayne County Airport Authority; and Faye Nelson, president and CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for DTE Energy Paul Hillegonds moderated the session.

Panelists discussed the policies being put forth that will help ensure the vibrancy and reinvention of Detroit’s largest institutions continue to flourish. The panel collectively presented the keys to revitalizing Detroit’s most valued institutions as being dependent on collaborative community efforts and forward-thinking strategies. The speakers agreed that public-private partnerships are crucial elements in driving progress. This session was sponsored by Chase.

IT Panel Analyzes Emerging Technology Sector in Detroit Region

The final group of breakout sessions highlighted topics including small business, urban development and the IT industry. The “Outpacing Silicon Valley: How Detroit is Revolutionizing the IT Industry” session included the following panelists: Jim Anderson, founder, president and CEO, Urban Science; Henry Balanon, co-founder, Detroit Labs; Jen Todd Gray, vice president of marketing and creative services, ePrize; and Joey Grover, software engineer and mobile technology lead, Livio; Zafar Razzacki, account executive, Google Inc. Matt Roush, technology editor for WWJ Newsradio 950, moderated the session.

Session panelists focused their discussion on the Detroit region’s growing IT sector, highlighting the opportunities helping technology businesses leverage talent in and to the region. They each shared successful company practices and benefits that have helped to bring on young talent from surrounding collegiate networks as well as the weight of Detroit’s growing reputation as a vibrant, innovative city. This session was sponsored by Comcast Business Class.

Business Process Maps Unveiled, Mayor Bing Discusses State of City

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah took the stage after lunch today in order to present the Walsh College and Business Services Network process maps. These maps are a direct result of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List. The maps are simple graphic representations of commonly used city processes that to help guide businesses navigate city requirements. This set of maps focuses on permit processes including obtaining a business license, special events, signage, outdoor patio space, new construction and renovation construction.

Following Baruah’s presentation of the process maps, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing took the stage to discuss the state of business in Detroit. Mayor Bing discussed his hopes for the city now and moving into the future. He also highlighted his successful relationship with the federal government and his plans to continue to advocate for Detroit at the White House. To watch the video of Mayor Bing’s speech, click here. This session was sponsored by KPMG.

Top Media Minds Examine 2013 Election Landscape, State of the City

At a critical time in Detroit’s history and redevelopment, some of the area’s top media voices gathered to discuss the 2013 election landscape and the transition to a council by district system in Detroit. Panelists included Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for The Detroit News; Mildred Gaddis, host of WCHB’s “Inside Detroit;” Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor for the Detroit Free Press; and moderator Vince Keenan, founder and president of

The panelists engaged in a lively discussion over the impending possibility of an emergency manager appointment and that person’s perceived role and possible impact on the city’s redevelopment. They then moved into dissecting the changing role of council members under the new council by districts system. The group also discussed the upcoming mayoral race and the impact an emergency manger will have on the candidates.

September 18, 2012: Chamber Departs on Gov. Snyder’s Trade Mission; Chamber CEO Joins Gov. at Midwest-Japan Conference

Detroit Regional Chamber Travels to China on Governor’s Trade Mission

Representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction program are participating in Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to China organized by the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation from September 18-27. The delegation is meeting with government officials and business leaders to strengthen relationships, expand exports and attract new investment to Michigan. The Chamber’s Business Development Representative Justin Robinson will blog about the experience throughout the weeklong trip. Click here to follow Justin’s blog and keep up with the delegation’s trip. The Chamber also participated in the Governor’s trade mission to Europe in March and to Asia in September of 2011.

Chamber CEO Joins Gov. Snyder at Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference

Governor Rick Snyder joined fellow U.S. and Japanese governors at the annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association yesterday in Minneapolis to discuss and promote U.S.-Japan trade and business relations. At the conference, Gov. Snyder said Michigan is the nation’s comeback state and Michigan is doing more than fixing a problem, it’s reinventing the state. Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah attended the conference at the request of Gov. Snyder and Consul General of Japan in Detroit Kuninori Matsuda. Baruah met with Japanese company leaders throughout the conference to highlight the Detroit region. For more information, click here.

Gov. Snyder Proposes Transitioning BCBSM to Nonprofit Mutual Insurer

Governor Rick Snyder continued his proactive approach to modernizing health care and adjusting to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last week by proposing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) be regulated like all other health insurers as federal reforms are put in place. BCBSM currently operates as an insurer of last resort under PA 50, which is negated under the new law as it requires acceptance for anyone who applies for insurance. Snyder’s proposal would transition the company to a nonprofit mutual insurance company. BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp spoke about the Governor’s proposal in an interview with Paul W. Smith last week, which you can hear here. For more information on the proposal, click here.

Business Leaders for Michigan Study Affirms Michigan as Key in Logistics

Business Leaders for Michigan recently commissioned a study reviewing Michigan’s logistics system and interviewing industry stakeholders, local policy makers and shippers in the industry. The result is the notion that Michigan can grow its position as a logistics gateway by accelerating efforts to support and maintain its logistics base and increase investments in infrastructure that support global product movement and identify niche industry sectors to build upon.

“This valuable work by BLM confirms that developing our regional supply chain capacity is not just an economic opportunity, but a 21st century competitive imperative,” said Detroit Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Benjamin Erulkar. “The study’s recommendations on infrastructure and supply chain development are data-based, practical and visionary, and we support them fully.”

To learn more or read the full study, click here.

Chamber Education Trust-Midwest Write Op-Ed in Detroit Free Press on High School Graduation Standards

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah co-wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press yesterday with Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, on the importance of strong high school graduation standards to adequately prepare students for secondary education. The article describes the harm of legislation currently being considered that would weaken the Michigan Merit Curriculum standards passed in 2006. The article goes on to describe the economic impact higher education has on a region and the importance of quality education to the workforce. To read the full article, click here.

Connection Point Brings Together More than 130 Supplies to ManTech Supplier Forum

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point program hosted buyers from ManTech International Corporation looking to explore sourcing partnerships with qualified Michigan suppliers.

The visit, which was presented in partnership with Pure Michigan Business Connect, the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) of Michigan, and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Translinked program, attracted over 130 suppliers and partners to discuss potential opportunities with 15 ManTech representatives, making this the largest buying group Connection Point has hosted to date. The program featured remarks from PTAC representatives as well as a keynote address from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s President and CEO Michael Finney. Additionally, 45 Michigan companies with specialties in ground vehicle maintenance, integrated logistics and base operations were hand selected by ManTech for individual meetings. Read more on this event from CBS Detroit’s Matt Roush here.

Governor Snyder’s Proposal Latest Step in Modernizing Health Insurance

Plan Transitions BCBSM to a Nonprofit Mutual Insurer

As organizations and businesses adjust to the Affordable Care Act, Governor Rick Snyder continued his proactive approach today, unveiling a proposal to modernize health insurance regulation. The proposal ensures that the state’s largest health insurance provider – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) – is regulated like all other health insurers as federal health care reforms are implemented.

The regulation comes in advance of the state-federal health insurance exchange which is set to open in October 2013. Currently BCBSM operates under PA 350, which establishes BCBSM as the insurer of last resort. The new federal laws establishing the exchange require that all insurance carriers accept everyone who applies for coverage regardless of their medical history negating the need for provisions for an insurer of last resort.

As part of the Governor’s proposal, BCBSM would transition to a nonprofit mutual insurance company. The transition in corporate structure would not change BCBSM or Blue Care Network (BCN) of Michigan coverage for any of the company’s 4.4 million Michigan members, nor would it affect the contracts the company has to administer coverage and claims for self-insured customers. It also would not affect the contracts BCBSM and BCN has in place with hospitals, physicians and other health care providers.

The Governor’s plan also requires Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to contribute about $1.5 billion over 18 years to a new nonprofit entity whose purpose is to fund initiatives that foster healthier lifestyles, provide better access to health care and improve public health.

Moving forward, the Michigan House and Senate must approve the Governor’s proposal, which follows the Governor’s special message to the Legislature on health and wellness last year.