MN Physician August 2016

Page 38


Christopher Tillotson

Ensor E. Transfeldt

Misty Tu

Jeffrey L. Tucker

President and Musculoskeletal Radiologist Consulting Radiologists, Ltd.

Spine Surgeon, Twin Cities Spine Center Medical Director, Allina Spine Program

Senior Medical Director for Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

President and CEO Integrity Health Network

Changes: Our biggest change has been converting to a completely physician-led practice. In the past, we had utilized a non-physician CEO. Our reasoning is that only through physician leadership could the group fully realize its potential and be in a position to respond to the rapidly changing health care environment in the upper Midwest. Also, the high degree of physician involvement promotes cohesion and more fully leverages our intrinsic talents.

Changes: We have moved from a boutique spine surgery practice toward an integrated, comprehensive spine practice with other providers and health systems. The partnership with Allina has allowed us to focus on patient-centric care. Measurement of outcomes and costs makes it possible to eliminate waste and encourage continuous quality improvement, while reducing costs.

Changes: We are deeply committed to advancing health equity. We are proud to have made a healthy difference over the past few years by increasing access to healthy food and improving conditions where Minnesotans live, work, and play. Finally, behavioral health is a growing area where we need to continue asking the right questions in order to make progress.

Changes: We launched a Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO and a state of Minnesota Medicaid ACO through the Integrated Partnership Program. We received grant dollars from the State of Minnesota State Improvement Model to help us develop and implement a health information exchange. Additional funding allowed us to develop a regional accountable community for health (ACH).

Challenges: The biggest challenge is to pay for services, without sacrificing quality. We don’t have enough mental health care inpatient beds or a robust enough outpatient and safety network. Funding is available, but that won’t help if we aren’t offering the right services at the right time. These are some of our most vulnerable members, and they need us to do the best job we can.

Challenges: A rapidly evolving health care market taxes our clinics’ ability to respond and apply limited resources. We need to find ways to make each initiative sustainable and keep partners at the table (counties, hospitals and clinics). Increasing government regulation and decreasing reimbursement and resources has accelerated consolidation in the Minnesota marketplace and caused the loss of independent clinics in large numbers.


Challenges: We are a large independent physician group and wish to remain so. There is a fair amount of uncertainty as to how to maintain a successful practice as we move further into the ACO era. For example, what is the best approach, configuration and size to navigate in this rapidly changing environment?


Challenges: The biggest challenges these changes face are: Providers across the continuum must embrace the changes needed. An integrated network must be created and maintained throughout a vast population and geographic area. Consensus needs to be achieved among providers regarding care pathways.



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