News release: Two task forces to help guide State Innovation Model health care reforms

Minnesota Department of Human Services - Minnesota Department of Health

News Release
June 28, 2013

Contact information

Two task forces to help guide State Innovation Model health care reforms

Community Advisory Task Force to focus on engaging communities and patients; Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force to work on reducing barriers to health care delivery reform

The Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health have appointed two task forces to support the Minnesota Accountable Health Model initiative, which aims to improve community health and ensure that every Minnesotan has access to team-based, coordinated, patient-centered care.

Minnesota was awarded a $45 million State Innovation Model (SIM) grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in February. The initiative will use the funds over the next 3 1/2 years to develop new ways of creating healthy communities and delivering and paying for health care.

"A better coordinated system will benefit all Minnesotans, whether they get care through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance," said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. "This initiative will also help us control costs across the health care system."

This effort is a joint initiative of DHS and MDH that builds on Minnesota's foundation of successful health reform efforts. The model will expand Minnesota's current Medicaid Health Care Delivery System Demonstration and other payment and delivery reform efforts in Medicaid. The model also expands on the state's health care homes and quality improvement initiatives. The goal is to increase and facilitate access to medical care, behavioral health care, long-term care, public health and other services while reducing costs.

"We have a great opportunity to develop new approaches to creating health in our communities," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. "I'm excited about convening these task forces and learning from them about more effective ways to achieve and maintain the health of every community member and the community itself."

The model also includes up to 15 accountable communities for health, which will develop and test strategies for keeping community members healthy and out of the hospital.

The Community Advisory Task Force will share community and organizational perspectives. The Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force will provide strategic direction to support alignment across payers. Both task forces will hold their first meetings in mid-July.

Community Advisory Task Force
The Community Advisory Task Force is focused on community and patient engagement, integration across the continuum of care and population health improvement. On Friday, July 19, the task force will hold a community meeting, 10 a.m. - noon, and its first task force meeting, 1 - 4 p.m., at the Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul.


    • David Cook, CEO, Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center
    • Jennifer DeCubellis, Assistant County Administrator-Health, Hennepin County
    • Julie Faulhaber, Vice President and General Manager of State Public Programs, Medica
    • Renee S. Frauendienst, Public Health Division Director, Stearns County Human Services
    • Mónica Hurtado, Youth Program Director, Aqui para Ti
    • Rahul Koranne, Vice President and Medical Director, HealthEast Post-Acute & Community Services
    • Keith Lester, retired superintendent, Brooklyn Center schools
    • Jon Lundberg, Vice President of Operations, Ebenezer
    • Jennifer Lundblad, President and CEO, Stratis Health
    • Cara McNulty, Senior Group Manager-Prevention and Wellness, Target
    • Joe Pederson, Executive Director, Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership
    • Jennifer Stevens, Home Health Agency Manager, White Earth Nation
    • John Tschida, Vice President of Public Affairs and Research, Courage Center
    • Cathy VonRueden, Vice President of Payor Contracting and Strategy, Essentia Health
    • Melissa Winger, Patient/Family-Centered Care Specialist, Bluestone Physician Services

    Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force
    With representatives of both commercial and public payers, the Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force will help develop and implement alignment across payers. Its first meeting will be on Tuesday, July 16, 1 - 4 p.m., at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Room 2370, 540 Cedar St., St. Paul.


      • Charles Abrahamson, Vice President of Network Management and Provider Relations, HealthPartners
      • Garrett Black, Senior Vice President of Health Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
      • Amy Burt, Medical Director, Government Programs, Medica
      • Alicia Howes, Clinic Operations Manager, St. Mary's Health Clinics
      • Scott Leitz, Assistant Commissioner of Health Care, Minnesota Department of Human Services
      • Beth Monsrud, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, UCare
      • Jim Przybilla, CEO, PrimeWest Health
      • Carolyn Pare, President and CEO of the Minnesota Health Action Group
      • Patrick Rock, CEO and Medical Director of Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, Inc.
      • Brett Skyles, CEO, Itasca Medical Care
      • Jennifer DeCubellis, ex-officio, Assistant County Administrator-Health, Hennepin County


Media inquiries:

Scott Smith
MDH Communications

Martiga Lohn
DHS Communications