Initiatives improve care in different settings

For 65 years, we’ve focused on helping people get the care and support they need – when they need it. We develop and expand programs, tools and services to improve health outcomes. We’ve worked closely with care providers, patients, partners and members to understand how to better serve our community, and the following are just some of the ways we’re achieving our goal.

The future of community health is in our genes

HealthPartners new DNA testing program, myGenetics, aligns with our ongoing focus on delivering care that is simple, personalized and affordable.

Participants in the myGenetics program will learn unique and powerful insights about their DNA, information that can potentially improve health for themselves, their families and their community. 

Through myGenetics, we’ll be able to find actionable genetic health risks – from common cancers and heart disease, to caffeine sensitivity and more. In similar programs, as many as 1 in 75 participants were found to be at risk for a serious health issue, of which 90 percent would not have been discovered through traditional practice. 

"We see population genomics as a critical step in our efforts to improve the health of the communities we serve across Minnesota and surrounding states." 

HealthPartners is partnering with FarmboxRx to deliver boxes of fresh produce directly to members’ homes for free. We’re the first health plan in Minnesota to introduce FarmboxRx boxes to Medicare members, part of our ongoing effort to address social and community factors that impact overall health, including food insecurity.

Eligible seniors can receive up to two boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables each month. The boxes contain different seasonal options designed by a team of registered dietitian nutritionists and can be customized for specific health conditions. They also include nutrition and food education materials.

Building trust in vaccines through science

HealthPartners was one of 100 sites nationwide to participate in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial, and we were the first health system in Minnesota to begin vaccine research during the pandemic. We also had some of the highest enrollment numbers in the nation, and our participants reflected the diverse community we serve. More than 36 percent of HealthPartners vaccine trial participants were from communities of color. This diverse representation leads to better science, and ultimately, better health.

HealthPartners has also been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other large health systems to monitor side effects and efficacy of the vaccines. Through this effort, we know that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines remain effective at preventing severe illness – and that vaccines don’t lead to miscarriage among pregnant women. 

“We’re proud that our research is helping improve outcomes and experiences for our patients, members and community, while generating knowledge that helped build confidence in vaccines and undoubtedly saved lives.”

Helping patients heal outside the hospital

During a year when hospitals were often at or near capacity, HealthPartners Hospital@Home program helped alleviate some of the stress. The program aims to reduce the amount of time a patient stays in hospital and allows them to recover at home – safely. A HealthPartners community paramedic visits patients once or twice a day in their homes while physicians connect virtually using telemedicine.

Not only does this innovative program reduce the length of a hospital stay, often reducing the cost of care, it also opens hospital beds for other, more critically ill patients.

More than 400 patients have participated in the Hospital@Home program since it launched in November 2019.

First in nation to publicly report dental quality measures

HealthPartners Dental Group was among five regional Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Equality (WCHQ) members that became the first dental practices in the country to publicly report oral health quality measures – an important step toward improving oral health outcomes and integrating oral and overall health. The three reported quality measures are commonly found in family dental practices and include caries (decay) risk assessment in children, ongoing care in adults with periodontitis (gum disease) and topical fluoride application in high-risk children. 

Bonnie, a HealthPartners member, felt increasingly isolated during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Recognizing this need, her HealthPartners care coordinator, Brenda, sent Bonnie an unlikely companion. Bonnie received an animatronic support cat – named Tiffy – paid for through Bonnie’s Minnesota Senior Health Options Medicare plan. HealthPartners is one of the only health plans in the country that offers this benefit to seniors with dementia or depression who struggle with isolation.

“Animals always brought a new perspective into my life. Tiffy is good for my health. She just brings a smile to my face.”