Gov Dayton Requires Audits of Health Plans

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's Official Photo

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's Official Photo

For the first time, the State of Minnesota will have a competitive bidding process for providers of state health care and focus its payments for health care on outcomes instead of procedures. Governor Mark Dayton yesterday signed an Executive Order requiring regular audits of health plans, and demanding full public disclosure of the profits, reserves, and administrative expenses of state contracted health care providers. These changes, announced today by Governor Dayton, Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, and Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger represent a fundamental shift in how the state provides and pays for health care in order to better serve taxpayers.

For far too long, they say, uncompetitive contracts have favored managed care plans at the expense of taxpayers. Just last week, Governor Dayton called upon the state’s public health plans to donate back to the state their excess earnings and reserves. Commissioner Jesson is in active discussions with health plans providing public insurance to request contributions, following a voluntary $30 million donation from one of the state’s current contracted providers, UCare. If on April 1, when plans are required to make their annual reports public, they are holding excess reserves, the Administration will ask them to return the appropriate amount to the taxpayers of Minnesota.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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