MNA NewsScan, May 20, 2013: MN health care innovation cuts costs for the poor; poverty up in the suburbs


Is the Future of American Health Care in Oregon?   “The governor has a notion that you can move away from medical billing and towards a more flexible approach to health-care spending that makes more sense for the community,” John McConnell, a health economist at Oregon Health and Science University, is telling me. Then he stops. “You’ve heard the air conditioner story, right?”

Medicaid Opposition Underscores States’ Health Care Disparities   Republican opposition in many statehouses to expanding Medicaid next year under President Obama‘s healthcare law — opposition that could leave millions of the nation’s poorest residents without insurance coverage — will likely widen the divide between the nation’s healthiest and sickest states.

Minnesota Health Care Program Cuts Costs for the Poor   Many other states are simply cutting medical assistance funds or moving patients into private managed-care health plans in hopes of saving money. But Minnesota is exploring new options like Hennepin Health in which the state contracts directly with county or medical providers who have banded together to provide care for a certain number of patients — giving them greater control of medical assistance dollars and, in turn, more freedom to innovate and focus on preventive care.


Twin Cities’ Rise in Suburban Poverty Among Highest in Nation   The Brookings Institution on Monday will release a study ranking the Twin Cities area among the nation’s top 10 major metropolitan areas for the speed at which suburban poverty is rising. Its analysis says the number of suburban Minnesotans living in poverty more than doubled between 2000 and 2011.