Minnesota will have Medicaid payment reform - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota will have Medicaid payment reform

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ROCHESTER/ST. PAUL (KTTC) -- Medicaid (government funded health care for low income people) has been a political football for years.

With Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate, the topic has come to the forefront in the presidential race.

Now, Mayo Clinic's voice is heard in St. Paul.

For years, Mayo Clinic has pleaded for health-care reform and that it be patient-centered; a main focus was on payment reform.

Last week, Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) received federal approval to implement changes to the way it will pay health care providers under the state's Medicaid program.

MDHS Assistant Commissioner Scott Leitz says this will improve patient outcomes.

"Mayo has certainly been very interested in this type of care because it really fits the model of care they've built over the years... One that is really about a team approach," Leitz said.

The state commonly pays providers per procedure or pays a health insurance company to provide coverage when it comes to publicly funded health care.

However, the Health Care Delivery System (HCDS) demonstration focuses on more coordinated care to improve patients' overall health.

"Under this project, patients who have multiple chronic conditions... can expect their care to be well coordinated across the various specialists that they see," Leitz explained.

But will this reform last?

Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has plans to appeal "ObamaCare" and drastically cut Medicaid.

"At the state legislature, this has had a pretty bipartisan approach... so we think that it will appeal to most everyone involved," Leitz said.

Also, Mayo Clinic's involvement doesn't end here--it's part of the first group of nine providers.

Models will be implemented this upcoming January.

They will be three year demonstration projects.

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