Health Economics Program - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Health Economics Program

The Health Economics Program conducts research and applied policy analysis to monitor changes in the health care marketplace; to understand factors influencing health care cost, quality and access; and to provide technical assistance in the development of state health care policy. The information is used to inform policy makers, consumers, and other stakeholders in Minnesota's health care system.

The Health Economics Program collects data and produces a variety of reports, papers, issue briefs, and presentations, covering topics such as health care costs and spending, the uninsured, private market insurance trends, and hospital and other health care provider trends. Learn more about the data we collect on the Data Resources and Management page. We also publish an online Minnesota Health Care Markets Chartbook with up-to-date data and statistics on health care costs, health insurance, health plans, and health care providers; and an interactive website with detailed insurance coverage statistics from the Minnesota Health Access Survey (MNHA).

Go to the Provider and Health Plan Data Reporting Requirements page for instructions on how to submit required data reports to the Health Economics Program.

New Publications

Minnesota’s Changing Health Insurance Landscape: Results from the 2017 Minnesota Health Access Survey (PDF)

This issue brief provides information on health insurance coverage in Minnesota using data from the 2017 Minnesota Health Access Survey. The brief illustrates the paths to health insurance coverage for Minnesotans in 2017, and identifies factors that may have contributed to the significant decline in coverage. A companion brief provides more in depth information on Minnesotans without health insurance. (February 2018)

Minnesota’s Uninsured in 2017: Rates and Characteristics (PDF)

This issue brief uses data from the 2017 Minnesota Health Access Survey to provide context on who in Minnesota does not have health insurance. The brief describes the persistent disparities in the rates of uninsurance across population groups, and presents detail on the key demographic characteristics of the uninsured, including their connection to the labor market. A companion brief provides high-level analyses of health insurance coverage trends in the Minnesota in 2017. (February 2018)

Evaluating the Stability of Minnesota's Individual Insurance Market (PDF)

This issue brief provides an update about Minnesota's individual health insurance market using mid-year health plan financial filings. The brief compares enrollment, claims, premiums and medical loss ratios for 2012 through 2017. (January 2018)

Commercial Case Price Variation among High-Volume Inpatient Treatments in Minnesota Hospitals, July 2014 - June 2015 (PDF)

This report examines case price variation among four common, clinically uncomplicated inpatient treatments in orthopedic and obstetric care. This is the first in a series of reports focusing on variation in health care prices for common treatments and procedures in Minnesota. (January 2018)

Treated Chronic Disease Costs in Minnesota - a Look Back and a Look Forward (PDF)

This report describes the results of the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) work in developing estimates of the health care costs directly associated with selected chronic conditions and smoking. (December 2017)

Access to Hospital Birth Services in Rural Minnesota – A Data Short Take (PDF)

This slide deck provides information on the availability of birth services at community hospitals in Minnesota between 2000 and 2015. It focuses on rural areas, highlights the counties and populations affected, and contains a list of hospitals that have discontinued birth services over the time period. (September 2017)

Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association – A Policy Short Take (PDF)

This policy short take outlines the history, costs and policy challenges associated with the implementation of the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), Minnesota's high-risk health insurance pool that existed from 1976 to 2014. (July 2017)

Understanding Health Insurance Transitions in Public Health Insurance Coverage in Minnesota (PDF)

This brief provides an analysis of the volume and distribution of health insurance transitions for non-elderly (under 65) Minnesotans using data from the 2015 Minnesota Health Access Survey. This brief also takes a closer look at those who transition into and out of public programs, including demographic characteristics, access to health care, and health status. (June 2017)

Public Interest Review: Evaluation of a Proposal for Expansion of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Bed Capacity in Brooklyn Park, Minn. (PDF)

This report to the Legislature assesses whether the proposal to expand child and adolescent inpatient beds in Brooklyn Park for psychiatric patients is in the public interest. The report uses quantitative analyses of actual and projected capacity/demand for inpatient psychiatric services in the hospital service area, discussions with Minnesota experts on the delivery system for pediatric mental health care, and public comments received on the proposal. (June 2017)

Analysis of Low-Value Health Services in the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database (PDF)

This issue brief presents the first-ever look at a selection of 18 low-value services in Minnesota in 2014. The issue brief presents estimates of use and spending on low-value services in two main categories: diagnostic imaging and disease screening. (May 2017)

Administrative Costs at Minnesota Health Plans in 2015 (PDF)

This report presents data on 2015 administrative spending for all health plans (group purchasers) that reported more than $3 million in total health premiums collected from Minnesota residents. The report includes fourteen categories of administrative spending. (April 2017)

Quality Reporting System Risk Adjustment Assessment (PDF)

This legislatively required report examines the need and opportunity for refining risk adjustment for the Quality Reporting System and the market more generally. It explores the complex relationships between patient socio-demographic factors and provider performance, and lays out a series of policy options that offer ways to minimize harms to providers who serve patients that experience health disparities while allowing us to continue to identify and reduce disparities in patient outcomes. (March 2017)

Administrative Costs at Minnesota Health Plans in 2014 (PDF)

This report presents data on 2014 administrative spending for all health plans (group purchasers) that reported more than $3 million in total health premiums collected from Minnesota residents. The report includes fourteen categories of administrative spending. (November 2016)

Pharmaceutical Spending and Use in Minnesota: 2009-2013 (PDF)

This issue brief provides an overview of pharmaceutical spending and use trends in Minnesota from 2009 to 2013. This first analysis in a series of research initiatives distinguishes between prescription trends in retail pharmacy settings and medical settings (such as physicians’ offices and hospital outpatient clinics). The analysis looks at trends in the number of drug claims, total spending and spending per claim. (November 2016)

Uncompensated Care at Minnesota Hospitals in 2015 (PDF)

This infographic provides a summary of changes in uncompensated care at Minnesota community hospitals in the first two years of full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Data is provided on overall uncompensated care, changes in the two components of uncompensated care, charity care and bad debt, and uncompensated care by health insurance coverage status. (October 2016)

State-Based Risk Adjustment and Feasibility Study – Report to the Minnesota Legislature September 2016 (PDF)

This study, commissioned by the 2013 Minnesota Legislature, investigates the feasibility of state-based risk adjustment in Minnesota's individual and small group markets. In the study, the research team assessed the performance of the federal model with Minnesota data and performed statistical and actuarial modeling of a number of scenarios for Minnesota-based risk adjustment, including the effect of reinsurance. (October 2016)

Trends at Minnesota Community Hospitals, 2011 to 2014 (PDF)

This issue brief reports key indicators of service use and financial performance for Minnesota's 132 community hospitals between 2011 and 2014. In addition to summarizing trends in financial performance and utilization of hospital services, this brief offers the first glimpses of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the hospital industry in Minnesota in aggregate. (July 2016)

Minnesota Hospital Community Benefit in 2013: A Report to the Minnesota Legislature (PDF)

This report to the Legislature describes community benefit spending by Minnesota hospitals between 2008 and 2013. It includes an analysis of community benefit by category of spending, hospital characteristics, and changes over time. The report also describes strengths and weakness of new federal reporting requirements for community benefit spending in the context of Minnesota’s requirements. (June 2016)

Health Care Spending and Projections, 2013 (PDF)
This annual report to the Legislature includes estimated actual health care spending for Minnesota residents in 2013 and projections for future spending. The report projects the marginal impact of policy changes associated with the Affordable Care Act. Topics include health care spending by source of funds and types of services, cost drivers, and analysis of commercial spending growth. (March 2016)

Health Insurance Coverage in Minnesota: Results from the 2015 Minnesota Health Access Survey (PDF)
This issue brief provides initial findings about health insurance coverage for Minnesotans in 2015, using data from the 2015 Minnesota Health Access Survey. The issue brief provides in-depth information about trends in health insurance coverage between 2001 and 2015, including the potential impact of federal health reform, changes in sources of health insurance coverage and the composition of the uninsured, disparities in access to health insurance coverage, and pathways to coverage for the uninsured. (February 2016)

Chronic Conditions in Minnesota: New Estimates of Prevalence, Cost and Geographic Variation for Insured Minnesotans, 2012 (PDF)
This report examines chronic disease prevalence and spending for Minnesota residents with health insurance in 2012, using Minnesota’s robust All Payer Claims Database (MN APCD). The report presents overall estimates of prevalence and spending for chronic conditions, considering approximately 125 distinct diseases. It also presents more detailed results for 10 select conditions. Estimates are prepared for the state overall, as well as at the county level. (January 2016)

Uncompensated Care at Minnesota Community Hospitals in 2014 (PDF)
This issue brief describes the changes in uncompensated care at Minnesota hospitals in 2014, the first year in which the most significant coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented in Minnesota and the nation.  The issue brief includes findings on trends for overall uncompensated care and components, charity care and bad debt, as well as changes by insurance status.  This analysis uses data from annual hospital filings. (September 2015)

Potentially Preventable Health Care Events in Minnesota (PDF)
This report provides a baseline for the volume and associated spending of potentially preventable health care events in Minnesota in 2012. These events comprise emergency department visits, hospital stays and hospital readmissions that could have potentially been prevented with timely access to primary care better care coordination and prescription management improved health care literacy by patients and better coordination across providers and between patients, their families, providers and social support services. (July 2015)

Health Economics Program Publications

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