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The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.

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2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Priorities

In 2011 the Department of Human Services kicked off the year with the early expansion of Medicaid – providing 86,000 Minnesotans with new or better health care coverage. And we closed out the year with the transition to managed care contracts negotiated through competitive bidding – a savings of $175 million to taxpayers while providing quality care to clients. In any normal year these two law changes would have taken twice the time to accomplish. It was not a normal year.

But a list of achievements does not end with the headlines. In between is an impressive list of accomplishments, including:

  • Continued progress toward the goal of keeping more Minnesotans in their homes and communities and out of institutions. This includes dramatic increases in the number of people with disabilities and seniors moving out of institutions, and the launch of Senior One Stop, an information service that helps seniors be independent. Our work across the last several years earned Minnesota the top national ranking for long-term care services by AARP and Commonwealth fund.
  • Improved accountability by creating the Office of Inspector General, which will streamline DHS fraud prevention and recovery activities across the agency. The OIG has already heightened public awareness regarding agency regulatory actions. We also created a “dashboard” that shares our goals and our progress toward them with the public.
  • Increased Minnesotans’ access to healthy foods by increasing our nutrition assistance outreach efforts and partnering to expand nutrition assistance to local farmers’ markets. This not only helps keep people healthier, it boosts the local economy. Every dollar spent on food support generates $1.73 in economic activity.
  • Emphasized health care quality by instituting a “pay-for-performance” model in our fee-for-service health care programs, where hospital providers can buy back rate reductions by eliminating unnecessary readmissions. In the works is a nation-leading demonstration project that will encourage providers to design care models that reward patient outcomes.


These are just a few examples of our progress in 2011.  It is more gratifying, however, to see not just awards and descriptions, but the impact of our work on people’s lives. When I talk with people signing up for expedited food support, when I visit with youth in a homeless program, when I meet with clients at Security Hospital and our Community Behavioral Health Hospitals, when I attended the sobriety pow wow at Four Winds, when I visited the MSOP work program at Moose Lake, I see the fruits of the good work being done at DHS.

As we look ahead to 2012, DHS will build on this work. We will redesign our long-term care waivers and launch a campaign to encourage people to save for their own long-term care; we will work to better protect people that we serve, whether they are committed to us for treatment or receiving services in the community; we will work to prevent fraud and abuse; and we will increase our efforts to implement health care reform at this critical national juncture.

Framework for the Future: 2012 (PDF) features the Minnesota Department of Human Services' goals for 2012, as well as its mission and core values statments.


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