Minnesotas Legislature approved a sweeping healthcare bill that would require electronic prescribing, create new rules to boost quality and price transparency and tie payment to care coordination and performance.
Pharmacists, physicians and others who prescribe or dispense medication in Minnesota would have to do so electronically as of 2011 under the bill passed in the Legislatures final hours.
Under the bill, Minnesotas health commissioner must create a set of quality measures for public reporting and incentive payments. Starting in July 2010, the state must annually publish providers performance and begin pay-for-performance for Minnesota employees. By September of that year, Minnesota would also publish cost and quality comparisons of similar providers.
The state would also create a healthcare home certification by July 2009. Clinics that earn the designation would encourage the use of primary care, develop comprehensive care plans, and focus at first on those with or at risk of chronic conditions, among other criteria. Starting in July 2010, Minnesota health plans and state safety net plans must pay certified medical homes a care-coordination fee established by Minnesotas health and human services chiefs.
By the end of 2009, Minnesota would define at least seven so-called baskets of careor a group of services typically used to diagnose or treat an illnessand set quality standards for the baskets. Under the bill, health plans may set package prices for the baskets. Starting in July 2010, Minnesota would publish comparative price and quality information for the baskets.
The legislation would also create a healthcare reform review council and require the states health and human services departments to draft a proposal to expand access for those with employer-sponsored coverage and incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level, or $63,600 for a family of four based on 2008 guidelines. The bill has been presented to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who vetoed an earlier version of the bill. -- by Melanie Evans
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