Health Notes: Duluth clinic gets help introducing new health-care modelA Duluth clinic is getting a little help in adapting a new health-care model favored by the state.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
A Duluth clinic is getting a little help in adapting a new health-care model favored by the state.
Northland Family Physicians, 1001 E. First St., is one of seven clinics offered a $1,000 grant by Integrity Health Network to help them earn Health Care Home status.
Health Care Homes are being developed as part of health reform legislation passed in Minnesota in 2008. Patients with chronic illnesses or disabilities are cared for in innovative ways, including contacting patients via phone and/or e-mail between appointments, according to a news release from Integrity Health. Costs associated with achieving the status include purchasing software to help track patient progress.
Neither the $1,000 grant nor the fees clinics are allowed to charge come close to covering a clinic’s costs, said Rachael Nyenhuis, chief operating officer for Integrity Health.
“But it’s the right thing to do for patient care,” Nyenhuis said. “Patients with complex health conditions often can get lost between the cracks. This is a way to make sure someone doesn’t fall off the radar between visits.”
Studies show health-care homes — known in some states as medical homes — also result in long-term savings because patients’ problems can be addressed before they require more expensive care, Nyenhuis said.
So far, 134 clinics have been certified as health-care homes, according to the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
Integrity Health Network represents 50 independent clinics across northern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.