The Assistant Commissioner from the Department of Human Services (DHS) got an in-depth tour of how the Lake View Hospital and Clinic in Two Harbors has improved over the past few years.
KBJR 6 got a look into the facility's efforts to improve healthcare and save money.
"We've built a really strong culture at Lake View that really is focused on our patients," said Greg Ruberg, the President & CEO of Lake View.
Nathan Moracco, the Assistant Commissioner of DHS got a first hand look at how the hospital is improving care for patients.
"So the IHP really are about how can we redesign and deliver care differently," said Moracco. "And I think a facility that we have here and the wilderness group really represent what we're asking. How can we wrap around services from a patient perspective and meet their needs, whatever that might be."
Since 2015, Wilderness Health and all of its nine facilities, which includes Lake View, have participated in the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) project.
"I think this is really unique. Every IHP has an opportunity to address whatever the regional needs might be," Moracco said. "I think what wilderness is able to do is to address some of the really challenges of delivering healthcare in a rural setting."
Under the IHP project, Wilderness started a pilot program to lower emergency room visits and build relationships between primary care physicians and patients.
Cassandra Beardsley, the Executive Director of Wilderness Health said, "it's been really interesting to take a look at the data and find out where we have some opportunity. One of our challenges was making sure we had care coordination, and we have been able to find some real wins."
Which in the end creates a better quality of care and saves money.
"Under and IHP environment we would typically see a reduction in emergency rooms of about seven percent," said Moracco. "But in this particular pilot they were well above 50 percent reduction in ER visits."
Lake View and parent group Wilderness realize there's room to grow, but they're off to a good start.
"It was a great experience being able to meet with DHS and share our learnings, our findings from our IHP, and also some of the challenges we've uncovered and where we need to go in the future," said Beardsley.
The state has saved nearly $213 million over the past four years through the IHP program, which includes 21 provider groups.