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State Medicaid program saves $10.5 million

Several patients should be released from sex offender program; Dayton diversifies judgeships; Honour follows new playbook; energy milestone in the Northland; and more.

Medicaid “accountable care organization” seems to have saved some real money.  In the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck says, “A program to lower health costs through new payment contracts with doctors and hospitals generated about $10.5 million in savings during its first year, according to state officials. The new contracts let health care providers share in the savings when quality care is provided more efficiently. So, about $2.8 million is being split among three providers that are part of the new program — Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, North Memorial Health Care and Northwest Metro Alliance. The rest of the savings will be split between the state and federal governments.”

The state’s sex offender program had another bad day. Amy Forliti of the AP reports, “Experts appointed to evaluate the Minnesota Sex Offender Program testified Monday they found several people in the program who are similar to a man they believe should be immediately freed without conditions — and they plan to issue findings on those individuals by the end of the summer.” For more, read MinnPost’s coverage of the hearing and of life inside MSOP’s Moose Lake facility

Maybe this will make the GOP’s new ads … . Abby Simons of the Strib says, “Gov. Mark Dayton has greatly increased the diversity of Minnesota judges through appointing female and minority judges to Minnesota courts, according to analysis by the administration. Since 2011, Dayton has appointed 76 new judges to fill vacancies in Minnesota’s 10 judicial districts, the state Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court, increasing the racial diversity of the state’s judges by 53 percent, and the number of female judges by 18 percent.”

Speaking of that campaign … . Baird Helgeson of the Strib follows GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour around and writes, “Honour is part of a larger trend of very wealthy political outsiders getting into politics in a big way, reshuffling statehouses and congressional races around the country. They each follow a similar playbook, swooping in, spending big, and trying to appeal to a growing swell of voters who share a dimming view of entrenched politicians. It worked for Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a former health care executive. It also worked for Michigan GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, a venture capitalist who, like Honour, made most of his fortune in California.” Not sure if Honour will be flattered by those comparisons.

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They’re calling it a milestone. Up in Duluth the Northland’s NewsCenter says, “The Duluth Port experienced a milestone today when the 15th ship, bearing wind generation equipment, sailed into the harbor from Denmark. … The relatively larger scale cooling units and generators unloaded from the BBC Peter Roenna Monday are being delivered by truck to the Bison Wind Energy Center, in North Dakota. … And that’s where the milestone comes in, because once operational Bison Four will push Minnesota Power past the 25 percent renewable energy goal established by state legislators 11 years ahead of the 2025 deadline.

“I’ve Been Defamed!” — watch. The AP reports on the day’s proceedings in Jesse Ventura’s defamation suit by saying, “A woman testified Monday that she saw someone punch Jesse Ventura in 2006 at a California bar, contradicting the former Minnesota governor’s assertions that the incident described in a slain military sniper’s autobiography never happened. … But [Laura] deShazo’s testimony conflicted with a sworn video deposition [Chris] Kyle gave before he was slain in Texas last year. DeShazo said she was ‘positive’ the confrontation happened on the patio at the pub. Kyle said it happened out on the sidewalk.”

The doctor beat Tesla. The AP says, “Tesla Motors has settled a lawsuit alleging the company sold a defective electric car to a Wisconsin doctor. The deal calls for the California-based company to pay Franklin physician Robert Montgomery nearly $127,000 to cover the car’s cost, his taxes and his attorney fees. Montgomery filed the lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in April alleging his 2013 SP Sedan was in the shop for more than 30 days with various problems.” Hey, we had a VW Rabbit that beat that three times over.

I want one. I just don’t know what I’ll do with it. Dee DePass and Evan Ramstad at the Strib tell us, “Stratasys Ltd. said Monday it will sell its MakerBot 3-D printers in a dozen Home Depot stores … . Through the agreement, Home Depot will be the first major retailer to sell a line of 3-D printers in-store. The machines — which make 3-D plastic objects — will be available in six locations in California, four in Chicago and two in New York.”

Just when you thought the Applebees jokes had run their course … . The AP story on the E. coli outbreak says, “Thirteen cases of the foodborne illness have been reported, the health department said, with seven people who reported eating at Applebee’s restaurants — in Woodbury, Roseville, Blaine, Monticello and Duluth — between June 24 and 27. But health officials say there are multiple cases with no apparent connection to the restaurant. … the company said in a statement that the illnesses likely are the result of a ‘vendor produce issue.’”