Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Minnesota receives $45 million grant to boost reform efforts

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced February 21 that Minnesota was the winner of a $45 million State Innovation Model grant to help drive Minnesota's efforts to provide better care at a lower cost. Minnesota was one of six states to receive the highest level of the award.

Minnesota's winning grant proposal was for its Minnesota Accountable Health Model. The goal of this model is to ensure that every citizen of the state of Minnesota has the option to receive team-based, coordinated, patient-centered care that increases and facilitates access to medical care, behavioral health care, long term care, and other services. By 2016, nearly 3 million Minnesotans are expected to receive care through the model. The model is projected to save $111 million over three years and lay the foundation for additional savings in years to come.

Minnesota will use the $45 million to invest in health information technology, quality and performance measurement, improved care coordination and up to 15 Accountable Communities for Health. The goal is to have these accountable communities for health develop models that integrate care across the health care system. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger in consultation with a community advisory committee will lead the implementation of the project.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Exchange launches new public information website

The Minnesota Management and Budget launched a new public information website for Minnesota's health insurance exchange. The new site is designed to provide Minnesotans with up-to-date information about the exchange, how this new marketplace will impact their lives, and detail progress being made in Minnesota's development of the exchange.

The website, which can be found at http://www.mn.gov/hix/ has several new features including:
Interested citizens and stakeholders can also sign up for email updates on the website to stay informed on all the latest news and information regarding Minnesota's health insurance exchange.

University of Minnesota to evaluate health care homes

The Minnesota Department of Health's Health Care Homes program has contracted with the University of Minnesota to perform an evaluation of the statewide initiative to improve primary care in Minnesota.  The university will produce the first report in December 2013 and will evaluate the following aspects of the health care home as directed by the Minnesota Legislature:
  • The number of state health care program enrollees in health care homes and the number and characteristics of enrollees with complex or chronic conditions, identified by income, race, ethnicity and language.
  • The number and geographic distribution of health care home providers. 
  • The performance and quality of care of health care homes. 
  • Measures of preventive care. 
  • Health care home payment arrangements and costs related to implementation and payment of care coordination fees. 
  • The estimated impact of health care homes on health disparities. 
  • The estimated savings from implementation of the health care home model for the fee-for-service, managed care and county-based purchasing sectors.
  • A second report, due in December of 2015 will evaluate other transformational aspects of the health care home program in Minnesota. Health care homes are crucial to Minnesota’s efforts to achieve the triple aim of improving the health of Minnesotans, improving the patient experience, and reducing the cost of health care.
 Authorized by Minnesota’s 2008 health reform law, the health care homes initiative is a joint effort of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services that offers a significant opportunity to redesign primary care in Minnesota. Health care homes, known nationally as medical homes, offer an innovative, team approach to primary care in which providers, families and patients work in partnership to improve the health and quality of life for individuals, especially those with chronic and complex conditions. Health care homes put patients and families at the center of their care, develop proactive approaches through care plans and offer more continuity of care through increased care coordination between providers, specialists, and community partners. 
For more information or to find a Health Care Home near you visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/homes/index.html