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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: May 25, 2010
Integrated Payment, Delivery Model Working For HealthPartners

Using an integrated payment and delivery model HealthPartners, a Minnesota-based healthcare system, has reduced emergency department visits by 39 percent over four years and hospital admissions by 24 percent. Hospital readmissions for frail elderly patients are 40 percent less than the community average.

HealthPartners insures more than 1 million members in five Midwestern states, owns a teaching hospital, two critical access hospitals and a multispecialty group practice, employing more than 600 physicians.

The company’s success in improving patient outcomes can be attributed in part to the system’s integrated payment and delivery model. Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners’ executive vice president, believes integration is essential to improving the coordination of healthcare services.

"There are a lot of ways to get there but there has to be some system," she said. "Single operations in their own siloed practices of medicine will find it very difficult to achieve the kinds of results needed, both in affordability and in health outcomes."

HealthPartners uses a P4P payment structure to align the incentives of its employed primary care physicians with that of the overall system.

The insurance company’s Partners in Excellence program provides financial bonuses for medical practices that hit what the company calls "stretch targets — things that are not a slam dunk."

More than $21 million in incentives was distributed in 2007 to individual hospitals and medical groups for meeting quality, patient satisfaction, and other goals, including the use of health information technologies. The incentives accounted for 2.2 percent of total physician reimbursement.

While financially aligning the interests of physicians and other providers is a component of HealthPartners’ success, Walsh said the bigger factor is cultural alignment, in which patients, providers and payers are all working toward the same goals.

For more information on HealthPartners, visit

  This article was taken from:
Pay-For-Performance Reporter

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