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Innovative initiative now serves more than 462,000 Minnesotans in public health care programs, saves state $156 million

3/16/2017 9:53:33 AM

Jeanine Nistler 
DHS Communications
The Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) program, Minnesota’s groundbreaking approach to more efficiently delivering quality health care for low-income people, continues to grow. It now encompasses 21 provider groups and more than 462,000 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. 
“Through Integrated Health Partnerships, we have proven that it is possible to reduce the cost of health care while maintaining – and even improving – the quality of care that patients receive,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “We are pleased that this nation-leading initiative continues to grow.”
Two new provider groups have joined the IHP program, 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 two new provider groups began on Jan. 1, 2017.
The new IHP providers are:
  • Fairview Physicians Associates (FPA) Network, which includes Fairview Health Network primary care clinics, a group of 74 sites made up of Fairview Medical Group clinics and independent member physician practices located in the greater metropolitan area of Minnesota.
  • Community Health Network (CHN), a partnership between HealthEast Care System, Entira Family Clinics and other independent specialty providers. They add more than 50 additional care sites to IHP’s coverage in the east metro region.
Mayo Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare System, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and Southern Prairie Community Care also renewed their participation for another three-year cycle, with Mayo and HCMC expanding the services that are included in this accountable care arrangement. 
With the addition of new provider systems and growth in the 19 provider groups who joined before 2017, the IHP now covers more than 462,000 Medical Assistance enrollees. This growth brings DHS closer 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 IHP initiative, established by the Legislature in 2010 to test alternative health care delivery models, has already delivered significant savings to Minnesota taxpayers. In its first three years, 2013-2015, savings totaled more than $156 million, benefiting taxpayers and providers. Overall, state health program enrollees whose providers are in the IHP program receive more professional or primary care services, and fewer higher cost services through outpatient visits or inpatient stays. For example, the state has experienced a reduction in costly emergency room visits by 7 percent and hospital stays by 14 percent in areas where providers participate in IHP.
The governor’s proposed budget for the 2018-2019 biennium includes enhancing the IHP model to better connect people to social services and promoting the use of integrated care among participating providers.  
About the Integrated Health Partnerships program
The IHP program 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 program 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.
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