Health Economics Program

Health Economics Program

The Health Economics Program (HEP) conducts empirical, objective 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.

We maintain a range of Data Resources for analysis, and publish reports, papers, issue briefs, presentations and more in our Publications library.

The Health Care Spending Dilemma

Learn about health care spending in Minnesota, how spending growth can create problems for individuals, businesses and governments, and why constraining spending is hard. This video also provides an outline of how policymakers might approach limiting health care spending growth in the future.


Individual Health Insurance Market Checkup: A Data Short Take (PDF)

This data short take provides information on how Minnesota consumers have experienced the individual health insurance market since 2014. Specifically, this short take examines trends in insurer competition, enrollment, premiums and claims costs, and plan benefits both on MNsure (Minnesota’s health exchange) and off-exchange. (December 2019)

Treated Chronic Disease Prevalence and Costs in Minnesota: Estimated Costs for 2009 and 2015, Projected Costs for 2015 through 2025 (PDF)

This report presents 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 2019)

Rural Health Care in Minnesota: Data Highlights (chartbook)

This collection of presentation slides on rural health care in Minnesota – a chartbook – was developed in partnership between MDH’s Health Economics Program and the Office of Rural Health & Primary Care. The chartbook provides information on the structure of the health care system in rural Minnesota, the health care workforce, changes in the availability of health care services, how people in rural Minnesota experience and use health care services, and the financing of health care. (November 2019)

An appendix of Data Sources is also available.

HEP Presents at Academy Health Annual Research Meeting 2019 (PDF)

Work by staff from the Health Economics Program was accepted to poster sessions, panel discussions, and presentations at this year’s annual meeting of the premier conference for Health Services Research and Health Policy. The topics ranged from health care quality and insurance market simulations, to health care prices and hospital readmissions. (June 2019)

Administrative Costs at Minnesota Health Plans in 2017 (PDF)

This report presents data on 2017 administrative spending for all health plans (group purchasers) that reported more than $3 million in total health premiums collected from Minnesota residents. Administrative health plan spending is captured in fourteen categories. (June 2019)

Unhealthy Days: A Data Short Take (PDF)

This data short take provides information on the average number of unhealthy days Minnesotans reported from 2013 to 2017. Using data from the Minnesota Health Access Survey, results are reported statewide and for select populations. (May 2019)

Disparities in Premature Death Amenable to Health Care, 2011 to 2015 (PDF)

This issue brief describes geographic variation in rates of premature death in Minnesota between 2011 and 2015 that may have been preventable with timely access to health care services. Causes of such preventable deaths, or “health care amenable” mortality include those related to diseases such as stroke, heart disease, treatable cancers and other causes that might have been prevented through timely and effective health care treatment. (May 2019)

Health Care Capital Expenditures in Minnesota: A Data Short Take (PDF)

This Data Short Take provides information on how Minnesota hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers made major spending commitments such as building updates, replacing and adding medical equipment, and technological upgrades such as electronic health records between 2007 and 2016. (March 2019)

Minnesota Health Care Spending: 2015 and 2016 Estimates and Ten-Year Projections (PDF)

This legislative report provides estimates of health care spending for Minnesota residents in 2015 and 2016 and projections of spending between 2017 and 2026. The report also explores the history of health care spending growth, and the availability of evidence-based strategies to constrain the level and growth of spending. Other topics include health care spending by source of funds and categories of service. (February 2019)

A Measurement Framework for a Healthier Minnesota (PDF)

This legislatively required report presents results from the foundational first phase of MDH’s work toward completing a quality measurement framework, and includes a roadmap to guide the remaining work during 2019 and implementation beginning in 2020. MDH had rich conversations with a wide range of stakeholders that helped lay the groundwork for a new vision of quality measurement for Minnesota. (February 2019)

Health Economics Program Publications

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