Posts for UPHP News

UPHP Names Steve Heikkinen Employee of the Year
Posted on May 17, 2017

Marquette, MI – Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) proudly names Steve Heikkinen 2016 Employee of the Year. Each year, UPHP names an Employee of the Year from a pool of Employee of the Quarter and “Caught ‘Cha” candidates. Each Employee of the Quarter is nominated by their manager. The nominees are then reviewed and a winner is selected by the Senior Management team. UPHP employees also participate in a peer recognition program called “Caught ‘Cha”. This is an employee driven, incentive program in which all employees can write a “Caught ‘Cha” note and give it to someone they caught doing something great. Along with each Employee of the Quarter, the two highest “Caught ‘Cha” recipients each year are entered as candidates in a company-wide vote for Employee of the Year.

“I feel honored to have been voted Employee of the Year by my peers. I truly enjoy my job and am grateful to have the opportunity to utilize my skill-set and education as Facilities Coordinator. Diving into construction drawings and coordinating with vendors to maintain and improve the efficiency of our building is very rewarding,” said Steve.

Steve Heikkinen was born and raised in Negaunee, Michigan. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a B.S. in Land Surveying from Michigan Technological University. Before joining UPHP, Steve previously worked at Engineering Consultants in Ishpeming for 17 years and at WLUC TV6 as a Production Manager for 17 years.

In November 2014, Steve began his career at UPHP as a Transportation Coordinator. In 2016, UPHP moved into a new 28,000 square foot building and Steve filled a new position, Facilities Coordinator. Steve was an essential part of the planning, construction, and successful move of UPHP’s staff to their new home at Liberty Way.

Steve’s supervisor, Melissa Holmquist, attributes his success in large part to his work ethic. “Steve is self-motivated, has a positive attitude, and successfully juggles multiple projects simultaneously. He is a true asset to UPHP,” said Holmquist, Chief Operations Officer.

“Steve stands out thanks to his tireless devotion to his job. His responsiveness to the needs of UPHP staff is commendable. He communicates issues that do arise efficiently and offers solutions to make sure everyone is on the same page,” said Dennis Smith, UPHP President and CEO.

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across five product lines (Michigan Medicaid, Children with Special Health Care Services, Healthy Michigan Plan, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers. Learn more at www.uphp.com.

UPHP Featured on The Ryan Report
Posted on April 27, 2017

UPHP President and CEO, Dennis Smith, sat down with Don Ryan for WLUC’s Sunday morning program, The Ryan Report. Click here to watch the 30 minute interview.

UPHP Names Leslie Luke Chief Financial Officer
Posted on April 10, 2017

MARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) President and CEO, Dennis Smith, announces Leslie Luke as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Luke, a Certified Public Accountant, has been promoted internally from her current position of Controller which she assumed in 2015. UPHP, a managed care organization providing Medicaid and Medicare services to members in the Upper Peninsula, has grown rapidly since 2015, adding new product lines like MI Health Link and increasing its Medicare Advantage membership.

Chief Financial Officer will be the second position that Leslie Luke has held within the company, but she has a long history of work experience in healthcare financial management. Before joining UPHP, Luke worked as the Chief Financial Officer at NorthCare Network and was the Director of Finance at Marquette General Hospital. “I knew when I joined Upper Peninsula Health Plan’s staff that I would have an opportunity to add value for our members and I look forward to continuing to grow with our company in my new position,” said Luke.

In her role as CFO, Leslie Luke will report to Dennis Smith and serve as a member of the Senior Management team. She succeeds Regina Bergh who has accepted the Chief Financial Officer position at Sanford Health Plan in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Luke’s vast experience working for NorthCare Network, Marquette General, and most recently UPHP, will guide her well as Chief Financial Officer. “Leslie’s deep knowledge of UPHP and her financial acumen make her highly qualified to take on the CFO role” noted Smith. “Her track record in financial leadership and health care experience demonstrate her ability to apply her extensive financial expertise to help an organization succeed.”

Leslie lives in Negaunee with her husband, Matt, and three sons: Colin, Ben, and William.

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across five product lines (Michigan Medicaid, Children with Special Health Care Services, Healthy Michigan Plan, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers. Learn more at www.uphp.com.

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UPHCS to Hold Annual Trustee Forum
Posted on March 31, 2017

MARQUETTE – Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions (UPHCS) will hold their annual Trustee Forum on April 7th and 8th at the Holiday Inn in Marquette, Michigan. The speaker presentations will begin on Friday afternoon focused on health care reform. Senator Tom Casperson, State Representative Scott Dianda, and State Representative John Kivela will participate in the legislative panel to conclude the evening. Saturday morning will feature a joint commission speaker on high reliability organizations.

Below is a list of the scheduled speakers and their presentation topics:

Ken Leonczyk, Jr.

The Advisory Board Company, Senior Director and International Spokesperson

Topic: State of the Union: Health Care Reform Beyond the ACA

In his role for the Advisory Board Company, Ken advises health systems and health care industry companies on the strategic implications of health care reform, financing, and performance management. His presentation will give his expert perspective on how changes in health care will affect our region.

Brian E. Peters, MHSA, FNCHL

Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Chief Executive Officer

Presentation Topic: MHA Update

Prior to becoming the CEO for MHA, Brian held the role of Executive Vice President where he oversaw strategic planning and operations for one of the nation’s largest state hospital organizations and was responsible for the alignment of business strategies among the association’s various corporate entities. His presentation will offer insight on the future of healthcare in Michigan.

Coleen A. Smith, RN, MBA, CPHQ, CPPS

Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, Director of High Reliability Initiatives

Presentation Topic: High Reliability Organizations

As the Director of High Reliability Initiatives for the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, Coleen is responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of activities supporting the adoption of high reliability practices in health care. Her presentation will provide her expert tips on how to become a highly reliable organization.

There will be an opportunity for media interviews on-site. For questions regarding the conference or to schedule media interviews, contact Carly Harrington, UPHP Corporate Communications Manager, at charrington@uphp.com.

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Dennis Smith Appointed Member of Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
Posted on March 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEsmith-dennis


MARQUETTE- 
Upper Peninsula Health Plan President and CEO, Dennis Smith, has been appointed as a member of the City of Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. He will be sworn in at the next City Commission meeting on March 13th at 6:00 pm held in Commission Chambers at City Hall.

The City of Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (MBRA) was established by the City Commission on September 8, 1997. Brownfields are defined as properties that are contaminated, blighted, functionally obsolete, and can include historic properties. The authority has actively redeveloped sites such as the location of the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital, the new Upper Peninsula Health Plan building, and the Staybridge Suites.

“Communities like Marquette are fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of such a forward thinking proactive agency like the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority”, said Smith. “I look forward to helping redevelop brownfield sites to attract new and expanding businesses to our area.”

Smith is joining the following current City of Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority members: Robert Berube, Daniel Torres, Rich Rossway (Vice Chair), Terry Szczepanski, Kellie Holmstrom (Chair), and Mary Schlicht (Treasurer, Ex Officio).

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across four product lines (Michigan Medicaid, Healthy Michigan Plan, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers. Learn more at www.uphp.com.

Volunteer Drivers Needed
Posted on January 18, 2017

Upper Peninsula Health Plan is looking for dedicated volunteers to drive UPHP members to and from medical appointments. Mileage reimbursement provided.

Volunteer Drivers Flyer

UPHP among Top Scoring Medicare-Medicaid Plans in 2016 CAHPS Survey
Posted on January 05, 2017

MARQUETTE– Integrated Care Resource Center recently released a snapshot of their overall rating of health plans in which Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) tied for 3rd in the nation for Medicare-Medicaid Plans. This national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helps states improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. UPHP MI Health Link is a Medicare-Medicaid plan that contracts with both Medicare and Medicaid to provide benefits of both programs to enrollees.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services is measuring consumer experience in multiple ways, including through beneficiary surveys, such as the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. Medicare CAHPS surveys produce comparable data on the patient’s experience of care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons on domains that are important to consumers. In order to report CAHPS in a given year, health plans must have a minimum of 600 enrollees as of July 1st of the preceding calendar year. The current enrollment of UPHP MI Health Link is 4,120 members.

As part of the 2016 CAHPS survey, respondents were asked to rate their health plan on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst health plan possible and 10 is the best health plan possible. With 8.8 out of 10 on overall health plan rating, UPHP received one of the highest scores in the nation.

The scores below are the percentages of the best possible score each contract earned when consumers were asked to rate the health plan overall:

mmp-cahps-chart

During the 2016 reporting cycle, 40 Medicare-Medicaid Plans participating across eight states were able to report CAHPS. The survey data are publicly reported by contract. Public reporting of the survey results is designed to create incentives for contracts to improve their quality of care and also serves to enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of care provided by Medicare contracts.

CMS anticipates making additional information regarding 2016 CAHPS results under the Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Initiative available in early 2017. The results from the Medicare CAHPS surveys are published in the Medicare & You handbook and on the Medicare Options Compare Web site (www.medicare.gov).

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across five product lines (Michigan Medicaid, MIChild, Children with Special Health Care Services, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers. Learn more at www.uphp.com.

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UPHP Names Melissa Holmquist Chief Operating Officer
Posted on December 09, 2016

 

holmquist-melissaMARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) President and CEO Dennis Smith announces Melissa Holmquist as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Holmquist, a Crystal Falls native, is in her 14th year with the company being promoted from her current position, Director of Government Programs. UPHP, a managed care organization providing Medicaid and Medicare services to members in the Upper Peninsula, has grown rapidly since 2015, adding new product lines like MI Health Link and increasing its Medicare Advantage membership.

Chief Operating Officer will be the seventh position Melissa Holmquist has held within the company, after having first applied for employment at Upper Peninsula Health Plan while she was a Graduate Student at Northern Michigan University. “UPHP has been a great company to work for. I’m excited for this new opportunity to provide more leadership and share the knowledge that I have gained throughout my career. I look forward to growing our community collaboration efforts and working with organizations that meet the social needs of our members,” said Holmquist.

In her role as COO, Melissa Holmquist will report to the President and CEO of Upper Peninsula Health Plan, and will continue to serve as a member of the Senior Management team; However, she now has complete responsibility for the following departments: Government Programs, Physician Services, Credentialing, Customer Services, Reception, and Advocacy with our Governmental Units (Local, State and Federal).

With more than a decade of experience in various departments at UPHP, Melissa Holmquist has the experience and institutional knowledge to excel in this new position. “We are excited to have Missie take on additional leadership responsibilities as we continue to scale our programs to serve greater numbers of individuals including those with complex needs,” noted Smith. “There is a tremendous opportunity to build on our history and make UPHP operationally stronger.”

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across five product lines (Michigan Medicaid, MIChild, Children with Special Health Care Services, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers. Learn more at www.uphp.com.

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UPHP Celebrates Grand Opening
Posted on December 09, 2016

MARQUETTE – Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) teamed up with the Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) to celebrate their grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Their new building is part of the Liberty Way complex located at 853 W. Washington St. in Marquette. The mission of UPHP is to be an innovative health plan managing the care of our members in the Upper Peninsula guiding them to quality, cost-effective care through our network of providers improving the overall health of the communities we serve. Upper Peninsula Health Plan employs over 140 staff members in various departments including: Finance, Government Programs, Customer Service, Transportation, Credentialing, Physician Services, Clinical Services, Pharmacy, Information Systems, Business Development, Compliance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Communications.

 

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Pictured (left to right) include: Scott Pillion, UPHP Management Committee Member /CEO Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Chris VanAbel, Marquette County Ambassador, Lois Ellis, Marquette County Ambassador, Dave Campana, City of Marquette Mayor, Tom Baldini, City of Marquette Commissioner, Bob Crumb, UPHP Management Committee Member/CEO Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Dennis Smith, UPHP CEO, Steve Embree, UPHP Management Committee Member/Regional CFO UP Health System, John Schon, UPHP Management Committee Vice Chair/CEO Dickinson County Healthcare System, Sam Elder, Marquette County Ambassador and UPHP staff.

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Melissa Aho Named 2015 Employee of the Year
Posted on July 14, 2016
Melissa Aho
Melissa Aho

MARQUETTE – Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) proudly names Melissa Aho 2015 Employee of the Year. Each year, UPHP names an Employee of the Year from a pool of Employee of the Quarter and “Caught ‘Cha” candidates. Each Employee of the Quarter is nominated by their manager. The nominees are then reviewed and a winner is selected by the Senior Management team at Upper Peninsula Health Plan. UPHP employees also participate in a peer recognition program called “Caught ‘Cha”. This is an employee driven, incentive program in which all employees can write a “Caught ‘Cha” note and give it to someone they caught doing something great. Along with each Employee of the Quarter, the two highest “Caught ‘Cha” recipients each year are entered as candidates in a company-wide vote for Employee of the Year.

Melissa Aho, a “Caught ‘Cha” nominee, was chosen as the Employee of the Year based on her positive attitude and demonstration of extraordinary dedication to her work. Upper Peninsula Health Plan President and CEO, Dennis Smith, noted that “Melissa is a positive and motivated individual who takes the time to learn and go the extra mile to be a helpful team player. She is a valuable asset to UPHP.”

Aho was born and raised in Marquette, Michigan and earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Michigan University. She joined Upper Peninsula Health Plan in November of 2014 working for one year as the Receptionist during which time she was nominated for Employee of the Year. “I loved being the Receptionist. I was able to interact with both the staff and members, and really got to know what UPHP does for its members. Also, the employees at UPHP are amazing to work with,” said Aho.

Chief Quality Officer, Anne Levandoski was Melissa’s supervisor in 2015. Melissa has since been promoted from Receptionist to Credentialing Specialist, but she brings her positive attitude with her in her new role. “Melissa is always cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable. She is a great coworker,” said Levandoski. “While working at the front desk, she was always very personable to the people coming to the window, whether it be drivers, members, or lunch delivery for one of us. She has an infectious laugh and is fun to be around.”

About UPHP

Upper Peninsula Health Plan currently serves over 47,000 members across five product lines (Michigan Medicaid, MIChild, Children with Special Health Care Services, MI Health Link, and Medicare Advantage) and its network exceeds 900 providers.

For a printable version of this press release and contact information, click here: Melissa Aho Named 2015 Employee of the Year.