If at the end of the year Medicaid payments are lower than expected, the state and the provider will split the savings. The plan turns current system on its head by paying for patients to do more for their own health versus paying providers to perform more procedures.
Already, six providers have signed up for the Minnesota program, and one, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, has already shown some positive results in a pilot program with Medicaid patients. A prevention program that enhanced patient education and offered a coordinated network of care reduced hospital visits for those in the program.
Many of these reform efforts can be replicated elsewhere. The Obama administration is right to be granting the states the flexibility to provide new care models. It will help them achieve their goal of more access to health care and deliver it in ways that are more efficient.