Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Innovative reform initiative now serves more than 340,000 Minnesotans in public health care programs

The Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP), Minnesota’s groundbreaking approach to delivering quality health care more efficiently for low-income people, continues to grow across the state, now encompassing 19 provider groups and more than 340,000 enrollees in Medical Assistance, the state’s Medicaid program and MinnesotaCare, a program for residents who do not have access to affordable health care coverage.
“Our nation-leading Integrated Health Partnerships initiative shows that it’s possible to lower the cost of care while maintaining and improving quality of care for patients,” said Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper. “It’s encouraging to see such strong interest from providers across Minnesota, both those who are joining and those who are continuing to participate in this initiative.”
This month, three new provider groups joined the Department of Human Services’ IHP initiative, including providers serving people in medically underserved or high-need areas, providers serving children with complex medical conditions, and providers serving rural areas in Greater Minnesota. Contracts with the three new provider groups began on Jan. 1, 2016.
Also this year, six Integrated Health Partnerships provider groups that helped launch the program in 2013 opted to continue for a second three-year cycle. North Memorial, one of the original providers, expanded its participation to include affiliate partners and clinics. With the addition of new provider systems and growth in the 16 provider groups who joined before 2016, the IHP now covers more than 340,000 Medical Assistance enrollees. This growth puts DHS well on its way to a goal of extending the IHP and comparable value-based reforms to half of all Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare enrollees – about 500,000 people – by the end of 2018.
The new providers include:
  • Allina Health, Allina and its subsidiaries provide a full range of primary and specialty health care services across a wide geographic range, with more than 750 practitioners who also assist patients with preventative health by identifying health risks, managing chronic illness and achieving overall better health. Allina Health participated in part in earlier rounds of the IHP program through the Northwest Alliance in partnership with HealthPartners, and with their Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute serving people with complex neurological conditions. Beginning in January 2016, the full Allina system joined the IHP initiative.
  • Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, an independent, non-profit children’s hospital serving children who have complex conditions such as cerebral palsy, rare disorders such as osteogenesis imperfecta, and traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord. In an effort to save families the time and expense of frequent travel to St. Paul, Gillette operates 18 outpatient clinics throughout Greater Minnesota. These clinics give families access to many of the specialized services they need, in their home communities.
  • Integrity Health Network (IHN), a multispecialty independent practice association comprised of clinics and facilities throughout a mostly rural service areas.
The IHP initiative has already delivered significant savings to Minnesota taxpayers. In its first two years, savings totaled more than $76 million, benefiting taxpayers and providers. Preliminary results for 2015, the initiative’s third year, will be announced later this year.
About the Integrated Health Partnerships Initiative
The IHP demonstration prioritizes the delivery of higher quality and lower cost health care, encouraging providers to focus on delivering efficient and effective health care and preventive services to reach mutually agreed-upon health goals. In contrast, the traditional payment system pays providers for the volume of care they deliver, rather than the quality of care they provide. In the IHP model, providers who meet a threshold for savings are eligible for a share of the savings. Beginning in the second year of participation, some providers also share the downside risk if costs are higher than projected.
The IHP initiative is a key component of a $45 million federal State Innovation Model (SIM) grant, which is helping to drive health care reform in Minnesota. Several IHP participants have also received SIM grants for their innovative efforts to improve health care