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Health Reform Announcements -
October 2012

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Health Care Reform Task Force and Workgroup Information

The Minnesota Department of Health posts weekly updates of announcements related to the agency's health reform activities. These updates are also sent out via email to subscribers to Health Reform Announcements. Updates are sent each Thursday.

Weekly Update - October 25, 2012

Making Minnesota the Healthiest State, Again
In a talk Tuesday at St. Peter's River's Edge Hospital, Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger delivered the message that Minnesota is slipping when it comes to national health rankings, and he thinks it's time the state gets back on top, according to a report from Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press. During the presentation, Ehlinger emphasized the need to use a public health framework for health reform that focuses on integrating clinical care, public health, and social services; rebalancing funding between treatment and prevention; expanding community-oriented primary care; and encouraging an efficient health care market that assures the highest value medical care.

Commissioner Fills New Health Care Reform Post
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger has appointed Manny Munson-Regala to serve as his assistant for health reform. Manny will report directly to the commissioner and will help coordinate and manage the Minnesota Department of Health's health reform activities. In his role, he will also help manage the department's relationships with partners, including those at other state agencies and in the health care community.
"We're excited to have Manny join our health reform team," said Commissioner Ehlinger. "The goal is to have him be a resource for MDH staff and health-reform stakeholders who can help move our efforts forward and strengthen our relationships with our health reform partners." Munson-Regala can be reached at
Many Medical Students Lack Knowledge of Health Reform Law
Fewer than half of Minnesota medical students understand the basic components of the Affordable Care Act, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Prevention and Public Health Work Group Meeting
The Prevention and Public Health Work Group will be meeting on Friday, October 26th from 3:00-5:00 at the Andersen Human Services Building (540 Cedar St., St. Paul 55101) in room 2390, a second floor conference room.  Please be aware of road closures and detours in the area around the Human Services Building. Parking information is available online.

Provider Peer Grouping Conference Call
The Minnesota Department of Health holds monthly conference calls to share information about the Provider Peer Grouping initiative on the second Monday of each month. However, in November the call will take place on November 19, 7:30-8:15 am. Slides for the call will be available on the PPG website by Friday, November 16.
For more information about the Provider Peer Grouping system, please visit: Provider Peer Grouping - Minnesota Dept. of Health or contact Stefan Gildemeister, director, Health Economics Program, at 651-201-3554.

Patients Benefit from St. Peter Health Care Home Approach
Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger visited Daniels Health Center, Mankato Clinic, Tuesday to learn about how the clinic is implementing the health care home model. He met with clinic staff and a family with a child with special medical needs who is benefiting from additional care coordination. The staff said the health care home approach has helped to improve patient satistaction and resulted in a more effective team approach to managing patients with complex needs. Visit the Mankato Clinic health care home webpage to learn more and watch a patient testimonial about the value of the health care home model.
In addition, MDH has certified three new health care homes. There are now 197 certified health care homes.

  • Sanford Clinic. Westbrook
  • Sanford Clinic, Canby
  • Sanford Clinic, Minneota

Learn more or find a health care home near you.

Weekly Update - October 18, 2012

Public Briefing on Minnesota State Innovation Model Proposal Submission
A public update on Minnesota's submission to the CMS Innovation Center's State Innovation Models Funding Opportunity will be held on November 2nd from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wilder Foundation (located at 451 Lexington Parkway, St. Paul).  Please forward this invitation to others who may be interested.  If you are able to attend, please RSVP to Information about Minnesota's Innovation Model application is available on the health reform website.

Access Work Group Meeting Canceled
The Access Work Group meeting scheduled for Thursday October 25th has been canceled and will likely be rescheduled for early November.

Weekly Update - October 11, 2012

Prevention and Public Health Work Group Seeks Public Comment
The Prevention and Public Health Work Group of the Health Care Reform Task Force is seeking public comment on its current set of prioritized recommendations. Please send comments to The public comment period is open until noon on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

Care Integration and Payment Reform Work Group Seeks Public Comment
The public comment period is now open for the most recent draft recommendations from the Health Care Reform Task Force's Care Integration and Payment Reform Work Group. The comment period ends at noon on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Please email comments to

State Innovation Model Grant Executive Summary Available
On September 24, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Department of Health submitted an application in response to the CMS Innovation Center State Innovation Models Funding Opportunity.  The executive summary of the state's application is now available on the health reform website along with additional application materials and details of the application process.
Don't Miss e-Patient Dave
The Minnesota Department of Health e-Health Initiative is cosponsoring an event November 15 in St. Paul to explore ways to use health information technology to empower and engage patients and health care consumers. Click here to learn more.

MDH Certifies Health Care Homes
The Minnesota Department of Health has added two new clinics. Indian Health Board, Minneapolis, and CentraCare, Sauk Center. There are now 194 certified health care homes. 2012 October Health Care Homes Graph

Weekly Update - October 5, 2012

Minnesota Awarded $42.5 million Health Insurance Exchange Grant
The federal government awarded Minnesota a $42.5 million grant to support the continued establishment of a state-based health insurance exchange.  During the one year award period, the grant will fund items including information technology infrastructure, staff development, customer service design, and the development of a broker/navigator program.

"Own Your Futures" Program Urges Minnesotans to Plan for Long-Term Care Needs
Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson kicked-off the Own Your Futures campaign this week.  The campaign, which aims to encourage Minnesotans to plan for their long-term care needs, has a website, public services announcements, and a long-term care needs cost calculator. As a part of the campaign, letters from Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Prettner Solon will be sent to Minnesotans between 40 and 65 to encourage them to begin planning today.

PCORI is Seeking Health Care Research Questions
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is asking patients, caregivers, and the health care community to guide their upcoming research agenda.  The institute has developed a brief survey for anyone to propose specific health-related research questions that will help the institute develop research and funding priorities.
Monday, October 8, Provider Peer Grouping Call Cancelled
The Minnesota Department of Health holds monthly conference calls to share information about the Provider Peer Grouping initiative on the second Monday of each month from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., however, the October 8 call has been cancelled.


Updated Friday, July 12, 2013 at 04:10PM