Minnesota To Partner with Health Providers to Lower Costs for Taxpayers

By KBJR News 1

Minnesota To Partner with Health Providers to Lower Costs for Taxpayers

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 1:53 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Governor Mark Dayton is hoping to lower costs for taxpayers by partnering with multiple health care providers to help with the state's Medicaid program.

Governor Dayton announced today a new reform initiative that he says will provide better health care for 100,000 Minnesotans and lower costs for taxpayers.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is partnering with six health care providers, including Essentia Health, to test a new payment model that prioritizes quality, preventive care and rewards providers for achieving mutually-agreed upon health goals.

This new payment system is projected to save Minnesota’s Medicaid program approximately $90 million over the next three years, and is a central component of the state’s health care reform efforts.

“Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement this results-based payment model,” said Governor Dayton. “This new payment system will deliver better health care at a better price. By changing the way we pay health care providers we can incentive reform, help Minnesotans live healthier lives, and slow the rising cost of health care in our state.”

The Governor went on to say that this reform measure will implement much needed changes to Minnesota’s payment system for publicly-funded health care programs, including Medicaid.

The current system pays providers for the volume of care they deliver, rather than the quality of care they provide. Officials say this results in misguided incentives for providers, rewarding them for the number of procedures they deliver rather than the preventive care Minnesotans need to live healthy lives.

Under the new payment system announced today, participating providers would instead receive financial incentives for reducing the total cost of care for Medicaid enrollees while maintaining or improving the quality of care they receive.

Six major health care providers have contracted with the state under the new payment model, including: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Essentia Health, CentraCare Health System, North Memorial Health Care, Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network (FUHN), and Northwest Metro Alliance (a partnership between Allina Health and HealthPartners). Combined, these providers will serve over 100,000 Minnesotans enrolled in publicly-funded programs.

“I want to commend these six health care providers for joining DHS as leaders in this critical reform effort,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “This model changes the incentive from doing more to achieving better health for Minnesotans. As we consider expanding our public programs under the Affordable Care Act, it is imperative that we move to better models of care that improve quality and reduce cost.”

This new care model is being implemented as Minnesota’s Medicaid population is expected to expand. Governor Dayton’s budget proposal, released last week, includes expanding Medical Assistance (MA) coverage to an additional 145,000 Minnesotans, including 47,000 children and pregnant women and 98,000 low-income adults.

The state will continue to work with other providers who may be interested in joining the new payment system.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns