Allina Health, HealthPartners extend partnership in northwest metro

Allina Health and HealthPartners are extending a partnership called the Northwest Metro Alliance. The alliance serves more than 300,000 patients in Anoka County and southern Sherburne County. The patients have HealthPartners or Medicaid insurance and receive care at the five Allina Health Clinics and four HealthPartners clinics in the community and at Mercy Hospital with its affiliated specialists. This extension carries the partnership through 2019.

“The Northwest Metro Alliance has been a success for patients, and for the partners because it created a framework for collaboration that allows us to address the health challenges of the community. The Northwest Metro Alliance is a learning lab for a new and unique care model – and we truly need new care models – that focus on delivering care of the highest quality and value,” said Penny Wheeler M.D., president and CEO of Allina Health.

When it began in 2010, the Northwest Metro Alliance was one of the first demonstrations of an accountable care organization in the region. It was formed by HealthPartners and Allina Health as an innovative, local solution to address health concerns and have a positive impact on the cost of care in the community.

From prevention to end of life care, numerous programs have been implemented that are proving to make a difference, including costs, which are now equal to or lower than the metro average. Some examples include:

• Increasing the availability of appointments for mental health care in a variety of settings.

• Offering faster, more reliable emergency chest pain testing to reduce preventable hospital admissions. This avoided $4 million per year in hospital costs.

• Improving the transition from hospital-to-home, reducing preventable readmissions by over 20 percent.

• Sharing electronic health information to coordinate care, improve efficiency and reduce duplicate services.

• A payment model that rewards quality, patient experience and total-cost-of-care rather than paying for individual services.

“This partnership was the first of its kind in our region to coordinate the resources of two organizations to achieve the Triple Aim,” said Mary Brainerd, president and CEO of HealthPartners. “We’re pleased to be able to build on the work of the past seven years to improve care, provide an outstanding experience and make care more affordable for the patients we serve.”

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]