Minnesota has an active All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), which recently expanded to study cost, quality, and utilization. The state also mandates that the Minnesota Hospital Association provide a hospital specific performance and charge database for the 50 most common inpatient diagnosis-related groups. Minnesota also aims to contain healthcare costs through bans on most favored nation clauses and anticompetitive practices in provider contracts.
In the 2017 legislative session, Minnesota passed the Health Insurance Premium Relief Bill. The bill calls for $310 million in taxpayer money to be spent throughout 2017 to give 25 percent discounts in constituent health insurance premiums. The relief is available only to people who buy insurance on the individual market. Among people on the individual market, the 25 percent state-funded discount applies only to people who don’t get federal tax subsidies. Those federal subsidies are available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty limit — $47,520 for an individual, or $97,200 for a family of four.
To help constituents deal with skyrocketing insurance costs, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill in 2017 that allocated $271 million to form a publicly funded reinsurance pool that would help health insurance companies pay the most expensive medical claims, thereby lowering overall insurance premiums. In Minnesota’s reinsurance program, health insurers are eligible for reimbursements from the state for claims between $50,000 and $250,000. The insurers are responsible for amounts over $250,000. The reinsurance pool has performed exceptionally well and has decreased premiums by 15% in the first year.
The Minnesota Legislature was active throughout the 2018 legislative term, enacting two laws that add price transparency (S.F. 3480) and drug choices (H.F. 3196) to the health care system. SF 3480 requires providers to give consumers a “good faith estimate” of the cost of common medical procedures within 10 days of request, while HF 3196 requires health plans to allow providers to avoid step therapy protocols, which requires a physician to try a cheaper alternative before using a more expensive remedy. The two bills were approved nearly unanimously in both houses. The laws demonstrate the state’s efforts to improve its health care system, although already considered to be one of the best in the nation.
The State Database
The Source tracks state activities impacting healthcare price and competition in both legislation and litigation in a searchable database to help stakeholders at the state level understand their legal and regulatory environment as they make efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency, and reduce costs in healthcare. We currently cover bills from 2017-2019 and key statutes from each state. Search the database for specific bills, statutes or cases by using keyword, key issue category, and/or jurisdiction.
*Note: 2019 legislative session updates are currently in progress. Check back weekly for updates.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDARMinnesota’s current legislative session runs from 1/8/2019 – 5/20/2019. Bills from 2019 will carry over to 2020 as part of the 2019-2020 legislative term.
2018-2019 BUDGETThe Minnesota state budget operates on a biennium cycle, covering two fiscal years. Minnesota’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Minnesota enacted its 2018-2019 Budget in the first special legislative 2017 session. To view Minnesota’s Department of Health and Human Services 2018-2019 budget, click here.
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT
- On June 29, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) responded to a request from two Minnesota state legislators to analyze the competitive impact of recent amendments to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). The amendments may require health plans contracting with the state to make information normally deemed competitively sensitive available to the public. The FTC expressed concern that this change would harm consumers by increasing the potential for collusion and decreasing the use of selective contracting. Read the FTC’s Press Release and Blog Post.