Collaborative "Learning Lab" Saves $6M in 10 Months for Minnesota Systems
In its first year of a seven-year "learning lab," the joint effort between rival Minnesota health systems HealthPartners and Allina Hospitals and Clinics was able to shave $6 million from medical costs, according to a Star Tribune report.
Bloomington-based HealthPartners and Minneapolis-based Allina Hospitals and Clinics agreed to pool resources, share electronic patient records and mine insurance claims data for a group of about 26,700 people with private insurance.
The initiative has involved a range of changes: Physicians were told to prescribe more generic drugs; urgent care hours were expanded to reduce emergency department visits; and physicians spent more time talking to patients before they left the hospital.
In the first ten months under the collaborative, medical costs rose by 3 percent compared to recent annual increases of 8 percent.
Allina and HealthPartners wouldn't disclose how much they spent on new technology or staffing, but leaders of the organizations said this new, long-term view will be beneficial for patients and system finances.
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