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Blog - Governor Dayton Applauds State of the Art Veterans Care Center

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Health, Seniors

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Minnesota has long been a leader in providing care for our veterans and assuring they receive the highest standard of care. The latest addition to the Minneapolis Veterans Home is no exception; it will be only the second such facility in the country to offer day services in a Veteran-specific model of care.

Governor Dayton spoke yesterday at the dedication for the brand new facility – called “Building 19” – which is a new, state-of-the-art, skilled nursing facility and Adult Day Center. It features 100 private rooms arranged to provide a home-like atmosphere for veterans receiving care, and it incorporates the latest technology and modern amenities to enhance care.


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Minnesota DHS Makes Accountability a Priority

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Technology

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The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is built upon the idea of helping Minnesotans, and thanks to their online public dashboard tool, it’s become even easier for Minnesotans to help themselves to information on the progress of DHS.

The DHS Dashboard allows taxpayers to know what they’re getting from the programs they pay for, and was inspired by Governor Mark Dayton’s “Better Government for a Better Minnesota” reform effort. The dashboard debuted one year ago, and has now been updated to include the most recent data available for the majority of its 15 measures of progress, as well as introducing additional measurements. As DHS advances in its commitment to accountability, transparency, and continual performance improvement, more measures will continue to be added.


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Minnesota Health Care Exchange for Farmers

Posted on August 06, 2012 at 4:52 PM
Categories: Agriculture, Health

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange will give farmers affordable health care coverage choices for their families and their employees. Farmers can select low cost health insurance for their families from the consumer exchange, or purchase coverage for themselves and their employees from the small  business exchange. Whatever the choice, farmers will see savings between 7.5 and 20 percent after federal tax credits.


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Minnesota Named Top State for E-prescribing

Posted on August 02, 2012 at 3:12 PM
Categories: Health, Technology

Minnesota leads the country in e-prescribing, making it one of the most safe and efficient places to get your medication. E-prescribing allows a prescriber to electronically send error-free prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care, which decreases the risks associated with the traditional method of prescribing; research has shown that e-prescribing reduces medication error rates by almost sevenfold in community-based office practices, including elimination of errors due to illegible handwriting. 

Minnesota's success is due to its collaborative approach, which is led by the Minnesota e-Health Initiative, a public-private collaborative established in 2004 that is guided by a 25-member advisory committee appointed by the commissioner of health to provide advice and feedback on policy making related to health information technology (HIT) in Minnesota.

The rankings are put out by Surescripts, the nation’s largest health information network. For 2011 and are determined by an analysis of data that measures the electronic prescribing use by physicians, pharmacies and payers in each state. Minnesota came in first place for e-prescribing in Surescripts’ 7th annual Safe-Rx Awards. See Surescripts profile of Minnesota here.


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A Dozen States Already Showing Leadership on Health Insurance Marketplaces

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Categories: Health, Reform

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Because of the Supreme Court’s clear and final decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, middle class families and small businesses have greater security when it comes to health care – they can keep their current coverage or, if they need to or want to, search for new, affordable insurance options. In 2014, we can look forward to new state-based health insurance marketplaces, called Affordable Insurance Exchanges, where consumers can compare health care plans and choose a private health plan that meets their needs. Across the country, a dozen states have committed in recent weeks that they will lead efforts to create these Exchanges.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and each state has the opportunity to tailor its Exchange to meet its citizens’ needs. States have the flexibility to decide whether to build a state Exchange, work with other states, or partner with the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to flexibility in our support of the states’ progress in whatever route they choose, as well as providing planning and implementation funds to help the states to establish the marketplace that suits their residents’ needs.

We have already begun to hear from governors on their states’ commitment to establishing these one-stop-shop marketplaces.

As Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee noted in his letter, he signed an executive order in September 2011 to begin work on an Exchange, an effort he says “will provide Rhode Island families and small businesses with access to more affordable, high quality health insurance coverage.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote that Maryland’s state-based Exchange is “well underway and we continue to make significant progress with strong support from the state’s political leadership and broad-based stakeholder community.”

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Stay Safe This Independence Day

Posted on July 03, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Transportation, Public Safety

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As we celebrate our history and take pride in our nation this July 4th, the Dayton Administration and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourage Minnesotans to take extra care and caution while behind the wheel.

In Minnesota, July 4th has been the deadliest day on the road for the last three years, resulting in 15 traffic deaths over the 24-hour period. “The spike in drinking and driving deaths during the Fourth of July is a clear and simple reminder why Minnesotans need to plan ahead for a sober ride” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. During the holiday travel period, 66 percent of traffic deaths are a result of drunk driving.

With a stated mission “to create a culture for which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable,” The DPS, along with the Departments of Health and Transportation, the State Patrol, and others, have started the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative which works through “education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical and trauma services” to improve road safety for Minnesota citizens.


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Making Medicaid Work for Minnesota

Posted on July 02, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Categories: Health

A 30-day public comment period begins today for the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) plan to reform significant portions of Medical Assistance (MA), Minnesota’s Medicaid program.

DHS wants to empower consumers when it comes to issues concerning their own health. In order to address peoples’ health needs earlier and ensure the long-term sustainability of health care services in the state, DHS has unveiled a plan – called Reform 2020 – to redesign the state’s Medicaid program to better serve Minnesotans.

“This plan will give people more choice, get them services earlier and in less costly settings and help secure the stability of our programs for years to come,” said DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

The plan encompasses three major areas of DHS’s reform efforts: serving people better in the home and community, improving integration of chemical, mental and physical health, and transforming the way the state purchases health care. The plan is a result of bipartisan legislation and part of the 2011 budget agreement and is designed to be budget neutral. 


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Women's Living Room Discussion on Health Care

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM
Categories: Economy, Reform, Health

On March 23, 2012, Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Seblius, U.S. Senator Al Franken, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum attended a roundtable discussion with women and mothers to discuss how the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, has put Americans back in charge of their health since it was signed into law two years ago.


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National Dairy Month

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM
Categories: Agriculture, Health, Economy

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For over 70 years, National Dairy Month has been celebrated in the United States during the month of June to recognize the important role dairy plays in our nation. In the infographic above you can see some of the most important benefits dairy has for Minnesota, or, for more information, visit the website of the Midwest Dairy Association.


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Reversed cuts a victory for Minnesota’s disabled

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Jobs, Human Rights

In a recent editorial for Access Press, a Minnesota disability news outlet, Steve Larson, senior public policy director for The Arc Minnesota commended state leaders for their work to reverse a number of funding cuts to Minnesota Health and Human Services (HHS).

These reversals delayed cuts to the wages of personal care attendants and disability service providers until the next legislative session and reduced the cut to community services for 2,600 Minnesotans with disabilities by half. ” Disability advocates will need to fight again next session to make these reversals permanent,” says Larson.

The issues of funding to key Health and Human Services sectors were first highlighted by Governor Dayton in his 2012-2013 supplemental budget proposal, and were ultimately addressed with his signing of the HHS omnibus budget bill, a bipartisan effort which restored roughly $18 million in funding lost during the 2011 budget compromise. This new spending was offset by savings to the state from a 1 percent cap on health plan profits negotiated by the Dayton Administration which resulted in the return of $73 million to state and federal taxpayers .


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