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Allina Health and HealthPartners announce new partnership

Organizations build upon successful partnership focused on delivering higher-quality, more accessible health care at a lower cost

April 12, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS – Allina Health and HealthPartners today announced a five-year partnership that implements value-based care across both organizations with the goal of providing better outcomes, better access to care and lower premiums for members and patients.

The partnership builds on the non-profit organizations’ collaborative approach, including their work together over the past 10 years on the Northwest Metro Alliance, an accountable care organization (ACO). The Northwest Metro Alliance has improved patient experience and resulted in medical cost trends that are 6 percent lower than the metro area – a savings of $40 million over the last decade. Prior to the work of the alliance, the cost trend was consistently higher than the metro average.

The new value-based care partnership elevates the quality of care delivered over the quantity of care provided. Reimbursement structures are directly connected to patient outcomes and improving quality of care based on specific measures, such as reducing hospital readmissions, improving coordination of care using electronic exchange of documents, and improving preventive care, ultimately leading to the improvement of both individual and community health. Additionally, the length of the partnership is longer than previous partnerships to allow for a longer-term focus on population health strategies.

“This partnership is an extension of what is possible when health care organizations work together to improve the physical, mental and financial health of patients,” said Penny Wheeler, MD, Allina Health CEO. “We are proud to build on our partnership with HealthPartners – a partnership that has proven that by working together, we can better improve the lives of those we collectively serve and change health care for the better.”

“Today, we are expanding the strong partnership between our organizations,” said Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners President and CEO. “Our shared commitment to deliver high quality, affordable care and coverage has translated into better health and cost savings through the Northwest Metro Alliance. We are excited to bring that same spirit of innovation to build better health in all of the communities we serve.”

Started in 2010, the Northwest Metro Alliance brought together the HealthPartners health plan, four HealthPartners clinics, five Allina Health clinics, the Riverway Pain Clinic, Mercy Hospital campuses in Coon Rapids and Fridley, as well as other affiliated specialists, all in an effort to improve the health of residents in the northwest metro area. Here are just a few examples of the success of the Northwest Metro Alliance:

Pain clinic reduces opioid use in the northwest metro

  • Started in 2015, the Riverway Pain Clinic showed patients’ pain levels had decreased by 50 percent as patients tapered off opioids. Of continuously enrolled patients in the clinic, 95 percent decreased opioid use and 38 percent were off of opioids completely.

Health screening identifies social determinants

  • Research has shown social determinants of health, including things like food, housing and transportation, can greatly impact a person’s health. Over the past two years, screenings through the Northwest Metro Alliance have identified more than 4,300 area patients with social determinants of health needs and connected them with appropriate resources.

Better patient care and fewer hospital readmissions

  • In the past year, through improved coordination between HealthPartners clinics and Mercy hospitals, there were significantly fewer readmissions when compared to baseline data gathered within this population.

Allina Health and HealthPartners are also co-owners of St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee along with Essentia Health. This unique, collaborative ownership aims to reduce duplication of services and improve care coordination for patients in the southwest metro. With 30 affiliated clinics and 450 clinicians, St. Francis brings modern medical technology, specialties and services often found in the core metro area closer to home.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Allina Health: Conny Bergerson

HealthPartners: Scott Beedy

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