The state of healthcare services in Minnesota has been suffering significant set backs in the past (Minnesota Health Care Commission 46). Issues to do with accessibility, affordability, quality of healthcare and the general health conditions of Minnesotans have to be re-evaluated. Fundamental reforms therefore have to be undertaken to improve the general state of health care in the state. In the recent past, the price of health care has skyrocketed (Halvorson 229). The private health insurance which is one of the strong pillars of the state’s health care system has also eroded and insurance premiums are over the roof (Leichter 217). The ability of the Minnesota health care system to be able to cater for these issues depends on it ability to tackle the above issues. Recent health care reforms established between the periods of 2008 to 2009 have been sought to address the above issues and are discussed below.
Improvement of Minnesota’s Health Care System
The quality of health care has reduced in the recent past and is discriminatory. In essence, most Minnesotans never get value for their money. Poor behaviors such as rampant tobacco use, lack of exercise and poor diet observation also contribute to the high cost of health care (Health state). The statewide health improvement program has been established to reduce the demand on the health care system by decreasing the burden posed by obese patients or tobacco users.
Health Care Homes
Minnesotan’s who suffer from chronic conditions or ailing from long term ailments have been selectively provided healthcare homes to take care of such conditions. This initiative is also a primary approach meant to synchronize the initiatives of health care providers in the attainment of the common goal of improvement of health care services. In addition to health care providers being exclusively confined in their profession, they can also apply to be health care home attendants in the new reforms (Health state).
Payment Reform with regard to Health Care Quality
These reforms have been majorly centered on providing the necessary financial incentives to health care providers for the provision of cheap and affordable services to Minnesotans. These reforms have also been tailored to increase the quality of health care. The reforms touch on the establishment of quality standards for all health care providers, provision of a peer group system consisting of all health care practitioners and the establishment of a basket of care system that will ensure the standardization and improvement of health care costs and services respectively (Minnesota Health care Task Force).
E- Health Care Management
E-Health care reforms are majorly aimed at incorporating information technology to improve provision of health care systems by making them more efficient and safer (Health state). Most or all prescriptions are expected to be made electronically procured by the year 2011. Health records are also expected to be made electronic by the year 2015 (Minnesota Health care Task Force). This will ensure interoperable records are easily accessed and shared by all medical practitioners (Health state).
Insurance and Auxiliary Reforms
Insurance have been made to ease the access of information for all Minnesotans on the existing health care programs. Employees will also be at liberty to purchase insurance with pretax money but at the same time, submit recommendations and reports to the legislature on health care provisions undertaken by their employers. Auxiliary reforms have also been implemented to establish a council specifically mandated for focus review which will submit several reform recommendations to the legislature (Health state). The council is also meant to establish a structure in which health care costs can be forecasted and savings measured.
The Minnesota health care system has been suffering many functional inconsistencies. However, important areas of improvement have been established in this study as the high costs of health care, e-health care management and establishment of health care homes. These are the crucial areas of reform that need to be improved. However, the effectiveness of the new health care reforms is still under analysis and the situation may still warrant more improvements to tackle the set backs discussed.
Minnesota Health Care Commission. Affordable Step towards Universal Coverage. Minnesota: DIANE Publishing, 2004.
Halvorson, George C. Health Care Reform Now! A Prescription for Change. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2007.
Health state. Minnesota’s Health Reform Initiative. 2009. Web.
Leichter, Howard M. Health Policy Reform In America: Innovations From The States. Minnesota: M.E. Sharpe, 1997.
Minnesota Health care Task Force. Health Care Transformation Task Force. 2008. Web.