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Integrated Health Partnerships improve health, reduce the cost of care

Commissioner visits Lake Region clinic in Fergus Falls

4/6/2017 12:09:30 PM

Media inquiries only
Jeanine Nistler 
A health care initiative that has helped Minnesota save more than $150 million and achieve better health outcomes for people enrolled in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare would expand under a budget proposal from Gov. Mark Dayton. 
The governor is recommending enhancements to the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) program, Minnesota’s groundbreaking approach to more efficiently delivering quality health care for individuals with low incomes. The changes are designed to continue the progress achieved, attract more providers to participate and create new levels of efficiency and coordination.
Today, Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper visited Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, which has participated in IHP since 2015, to highlight the proposal. 
“Minnesota’s innovative Integrated Health Partnerships program is reducing the cost of health care while improving quality, thanks to the efforts of participants such as Lake Region Healthcare,” said Piper, who met with staff, patients and CEO Larry Schulz during her visit. “The governor’s proposal will help us achieve even greater results by refining and expanding the program.”
Lake Region serves most of Otter Tail County and portions of Grant and Wilkin Counties, providing primary care and specialty services to approximately 45,000 people. It was one of the most successful IHPs to start in 2015, saving nearly half a million dollars in their first year.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this innovative IHP program. It is partnerships like this that help us accomplish the Triple Aim of improving the health of the population, improving the care experience, and lowering the cost of care in the communities we serve,” said Schulz.
Drivers of Lake Region’s IHP success include:
  • Integration of state-supplied patient data into their electronic records, allowing them to target services to patients with the greatest unmet needs, including Medical Assistance enrollees with more than three emergency department visits, hypertension, pre-diabetes, smokers, elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) or behavioral health issues; and
  • Greater integration of behavioral health services and strengthening partnerships with county public health and other county service providers (including expanded use of community paramedics for hard-to-reach patients).
Statewide, IHPs now encompass 21 provider groups and more than 462,000 enrollees. In the first three years, through state fiscal year 2015, IHPs achieved a total cost savings of $156 million.
Gov. Dayton’s proposal is part of a health care coverage and purchasing reform package, which has a net savings to the state of $4.8 million in the 2018-19 biennium and a cost of $3.9 million in the 2020-21 biennium. More information about this and other budget proposals is available on the 2017 session fact sheets page on the DHS website.
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.
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