Hennepin Health reform

Hennepin County is reforming and integrating health care.

Greater efficiencies, better results

Hennepin Health is an innovative healthcare delivery program that was launched in January 2012. The program is a collaboration between Hennepin County Medical Center, NorthPoint Health and Wellness, Metropolitan Health Plan (MHP), and the Human Services and Public Health Department of Hennepin County. 

Hennepin Health takes a holistic view of healthcare. In addition to focusing on a member’s medical concerns, Hennepin Health also considers a member’s social and behavioral health needs. Members receive care from a coordinated care delivery team. Other innovative features of the program include a common electronic health record and tiered care that is based upon a member’s identified needs.

Serving people with multiple needs

Hennepin Health serves adults in Hennepin County who are earning at or below 75 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline (133 percent as of January 1, 2014) and who do not otherwise qualify for Medical Assistance. Members of Hennepin Health fit these demographics: single adult, ages 21-64, no dependent children. A Hennepin Health candidate might also be jobless, homeless, have chemical addiction or mental health problems, and be socially isolated.

Aiming to improve integrated care

Hennepin Health seeks to deliver timely, individualized, and comprehensive care. In addition, the program aims to decrease unnecessary crisis care expenditures (e.g. emergency department visits, inpatient admission visits) by focusing on primary care and preventative services.

Creating results

Since its inception in January 2012, the rate of Hennepin Health member emergency department visits and inpatient admissions has declined. By avoiding costly acute care and improving quality, the program has been able to invest resources into new initiatives — such as a supported vocational services program and a proposed sobering center — that fill medical, social, and behavioral health gaps within Hennepin County. These “reinvestment initiatives” are expected to yield cost savings in the future.

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Hennepin Health Accomplishments

Updated November 2013 

Some of Hennepin Health’s ongoing and recent accomplishments include:

  • Assigning a single accountable individual to each member; this person has primary accountability for care management and coordination and provides a single point of contact for members. Successfully assigned an SAI to the top 20 percent highest utilizers in Hennepin Health.
  • Implementing public health promotion into the Hennepin Health care model via smoking cessation initiatives and expanded dental services.
  • Launching a county-operated intensive case management team that will identify and respond to the needs of Hennepin Health members with serious and persistent mental illness.
  • Implementing a supported vocational services initiative for members with at least one behavioral health hospitalization in the past year. Offered members career and financial counseling and successfully placed individuals in new jobs.
  • Implementing an emergency department "in-reach" initiative. Linked high utilizers of the emergency room and/or other crisis services to primary care and non-emergent behavioral health services.
  • Analyzing data from more than 1,200 Life Style Overview surveys. Identified social determinant areas that Hennepin Health members perceive as having a high potential of improving their quality of life, such as food, social support, employment and medications.
  • Launching and participating in two national evaluation studies:
    • A case study of safety net accountable care providers that is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and carried out by John Snow, Inc. (JSI). This study will describe Hennepin Health’s history, structure, successes, and challenges compared with similar innovative programs across the country.
    • A quantitative study in partnership with the University of Michigan (funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) evaluating the impact of Hennepin Health on member utilization and costs over time and compared to a like population in the Twin Cities metro that did not enroll in Hennepin Health

Health care facilities and clinics

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