|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
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
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
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 www.healthpartners.com.