HealthPartners continues to evolve services, technologies amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Organization looks ahead to meet needs, preferences of community
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — As it continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly advance technology and new models of care, HealthPartners today announced changes that will position the organization to better meet member, patient and community needs and preferences. These changes include the expansion of video visits and other digital capabilities, as well as the consolidation of some clinical services and locations.
“Our response to COVID-19 has led to innovation in caring for and serving people – for today as well as into the future,” said Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners president and CEO. “This has included the expansion of telemedicine, drive-up testing and many other new models of care for our patients. And for our health plan customers, we’re redesigning health plan benefits and creating new digital tools to support health and well-being. It’s all part of our work to make health care simpler and more affordable.”
Creating innovative solutions
HealthPartners has created innovative solutions to new challenges in response to the pandemic, including:
- Expanding video and phone visits for patients, which has proven to be a well-liked care experience for both patients and clinicians, with almost 300,000 video visits completed since early March.
- Providing all HealthPartners plan members with virtual and telephonic care through HealthPartners employee assistance and case management programs.
- Delivering digital well-being and resilience resources to all health plan members to focus on physical and behavioral health and resilience.
- Evolving care models to include respiratory care clinics, drive-up COVID-19 testing locations and new care approaches and protocols in hospitals and clinics to safely care for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
Changing clinic services
More than 50 clinics across the region that have been open during the pandemic will remain open. As additional locations and services resume operations, the organization is implementing the following changes:
- Reopening several clinics that had temporarily suspended services, including Eagan (Park Nicollet), Elk River, Wayzata, and West (St. Louis Park), as well as most dental clinics. Additional clinics are scheduled to open later this summer.
- Converting respiratory-only clinics back to full-service including Curve Crest (Stillwater), Lakeville, Plymouth and St. Paul (Wabasha St.) and the conversion of the University Avenue/Health Center for Women to a dedicated site for OB-GYN care.
- Some clinics that had suspended services during the pandemic will not reopen including: Park Nicollet Shorewood Clinic, Cottage Grove, Highland Park, Riverside (Minneapolis), Stillwater Medical Group Mahtomedi and Westfields HealthStation (New Richmond). Regions Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (ADAP, St. Paul), Regions Maplewood Behavioral Health Clinic and our Central Minnesota Clinic (Sartell/St. Cloud area) will also close. The organization is evaluating options to continue providing dental services in the St. Cloud area.
“Consumer preferences are evolving and affordability pressures are real. These steps anticipate the changing needs of our patients, members and the community, and position HealthPartners for the future,” said Walsh. “I’m grateful to our team for their innovative spirit and dedication.”
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 healthpartners.com.