Minnesota | Fall | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

Minnesota health plans are facing the specter of rising specialty drug costs and are implementing a variety of strategies to control those costs, including shifting specialty drugs from the medical beneit to the pharmacy side to save costs and increase oversight. Continuing on the pharmacy front, local company General Mills is instituted a program for employees who take multiple medications that in effect brings them them the benefits of their own personal pharmacists. The program is known as MyMedsManagement, from the Minnesota-based company Medication Management Systems. Meanwhile, in a move toward more outcomes-based contracting, local health plan Medica and Fairview Health Systems have inked a three-year deal through which Fairview will be paid based on quality outcomes, rather than a fee-for-service system that rewards volume. Under terms of the deal, Fairview will be able to earn performance-based payments tied to improvements in clinical quality and managing the total cost of patient care. And as the nation moves toward comprehensive healthcare reform, co-ops are gaining national recognition. Talk of moving toward a co-op structure, as opposed to a public healthcare option, has brought local HMO Healthpartners under the microscope, a successful health plan with a co-op structure. Local HMOs are also expanding their individual product portfolios, as the economic downturn have forced more into the indivudal market.