Northwest Metro Alliance 5-year results show improved quality, costs lower than metro average
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 10, 2015 – A new report by an accountable care organization formed by Allina Health and HealthPartners shows continued improvement in the quality of care while slowing cost increases to a rate that is about 30 percent below the Twin Cities metro average.
The Northwest Metro Alliance was launched in 2010 to serve patients who receive care at five Allina Health Clinics, four HealthPartners Clinics and Mercy Hospital and its affiliated specialists in the northwest suburbs of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
More than 50 initiatives have been implemented to improve care and patient satisfaction and to lower health care costs. Recent programs include:
- Improved care for mental illness. Increasing outpatient services for patients with mental illnesses decreased hospital visits for mental health crises by 7 percent
- Avoiding unnecessary hospital readmissions. Increasing services to better help patients transition out of the hospital decreased readmissions by 11 percent
- Supporting patients to take needed medications for chronic illnesses. Pharmacists helped remove barriers and educated patients with taking medications as prescribed and increased rate by as much as 27 percent.
“These results demonstrate that this model is effective in achieving the Triple Aim of improving health, providing an exceptional experience for patients and making care more affordable,” said Brian Rank, MD, HealthPartners Executive Medical Director.
In the year before the Northwest Metro Alliance was implemented, medical costs were growing nearly 2 ½ percent faster than the Twin Cities average. Now, they are growing at a rate that is 3 percent below the Twin Cities average.
Medicaid costs $7 million lower
In 2013, the Northwest Metro Alliance joined a state demonstration project to deliver high-value care for more than 15,000 Medicaid patients. Since then medical costs for patients enrolled in government programs decreased nearly two percent saving taxpayers more than $7 million.
“This model helps all parts of the system work better together; and the most important results are better health and lower costs for our community as a whole,” said Penny Wheeler, MD, Allina Health President and CEO.
Northwest Metro Alliance
The Northwest Metro Alliance is a multi-year collaboration between HealthPartners and Allina Health that is a learning lab for Accountable Care Organizations. It serves more than 300,000 people who receive care at five Allina Health Clinics, four HealthPartners Clinics and Mercy Hospital in the northwest suburbs of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.