Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a far-reaching healthcare bill that requires electronic prescribing by 2011 and creates new quality reporting rules. Pawlenty vetoed an earlier version of the bill over objections to expanded coverage for the states safety net plans.
Also among the laws provisions is a newly created certification for healthcare homes. Primary-care providers who seek the certification starting in mid-2009 will be eligible for care-coordination bonus payments. By the end of 2009, the state must also define and set quality standards for seven baskets of tests and therapies used to treat conditions. Overall, the bill is projected to shave 10% to 15% from spending on state employee benefits and public health plans by 2015.