Gov. Mark Dayton today outlined some progress in making reforms to state government to make it more efficient, with lower costs and better service.
He said every state agency has taken steps to improve their operations over the past 10 months.
And he reported some results of the competitive bidding process that went into effect for managed care plans that provide health care to Minnesotans with public health insurance, and tied contract awards to quality measures.
Said a statement from the governor’s office:
For the first time, the Department of Human Services injected competition into the bidding process for managed care plans that provide health care to Minnesotans with public health insurance, and tied contract awards to quality measures.
For far too long, uncompetitive contracts have favored managed care plans at the expense of taxpayers. Over the past ten years, health care costs have been rising at unsustainable rates, putting even greater strain on our state’s budget. Managed health care spending was forecast at $4.4 billion over the 2012-2013 biennium to cover about 600,000 Minnesotans. Common-sense reforms like competitive bidding will allow our state to reduce those costs without reducing the level of service that Minnesotans deserve.
The competitive bidding process will result in $170-180 million dollars in taxpayer savings. Along with other managed care reforms put into law, total taxpayer savings will be $242 million over the next two years.
Following the competitive process that evaluated health plans both in terms of quality and cost, HealthPartners and UCare clearly emerged as the best value plans for all seven metro counties. They will be awarded contracts to serve these counties. Additionally, the bidding process resulted in a contract award to Medica to serve Hennepin County. DHS is in final negotiations with Blue Plus to serve Ramsey and Dakota counties.
Dayton’s chief of staff, Tina Smith, and Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, along with Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, and Office of Enterprise Technology Commissioner Carolyn Parnell, are leading the ongoing effort to improve government, the governor’s office said.
A website has been set up to track the reforms. So far, it lists these results:
- We are streamlining the permitting process, so it’s easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.
- We are reforming how the state buys health care to get a better deal for taxpayers.
- We are saving millions and creating thousands of jobs by launching a comprehensive energy savings plan for state buildings.
- We have a new plan to save money by detecting and tracking down Medicaid fraud.
- We are making sure our children get the best education possible by reforming how we license and evaluate teachers.
- We are making continuous improvements in how the state does business so taxpayers get the best service for the best price.