MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Results from the third year of the Northwest Metro Alliance, a collaboration between Allina Health and HealthPartners, shows that this model continues to provide high-quality care with medical cost increases below the Twin Cities metro average. As a result of initiatives to coordinate care and improve health, medical costs for 2012 increased by less than 1 percent for the second year in a row.
Northwest Metro Alliance strategies
The Northwest Metro Alliance model coordinates care between primary care, the hospital and specialty care, provides evidence based guidelines to providers, creates personalized care plans for patients with chronic conditions, and empowers patients to improve health. Initiatives include:
Increase prescribing of generic drugs. Prescriptions for generics
among NW Alliance patients have increased every year from a baseline of
75 percent to 87 percent. In 2012 alone spending for prescriptions
decreased by $3.4 million because of increased generic drug use.
Increase testing access for low-risk heart patients. In 2012, the Northwest Metro Alliance expanded access to stress tests for the more than 400 patients who go to Mercy Hospital emergency department each month with chest pain. This initiative prevents the need to be hospitalized for 40 additional patients each month. Each prevented admission reduces the average annual medical costs by at least $4,500.
Reduce childhood obesity. In 2012, the Northwest Metro Alliance implemented a three-year pilot project called familyPOWER to reduce pediatric obesity. Pediatricians can refer families to the free, voluntary program when a child has a body mass index greater than the 95th percentile for their age group. In 2012, thirty families participated.
Improve recommended cancer screenings. In 2012, the Northwest Metro Alliance increased the rate of recommended screening to more than 73 percent. An additional 1,500 people were up-to-date on colon cancer screening compared to the previous year.
Launched in 2010, the Northwest Metro Alliance focuses on making care more affordable and improving the health and experience of people who live in Anoka County and southern Sherburne County and are covered by HealthPartners insurance and receive care at five Allina Medical Clinics, four HealthPartners Clinics and Mercy Hospital.
Read the executive summary of the Northwest Metro Alliance third year results.