Hennepin Health Newsletter: October 2015


October 2015



Ross Owen

Julie Bluhm
Clinical Operations Manager

Lori Imsdahl


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Hennepin Health is an innovative health care delivery program that was launched in January 2012.

The program is a collaboration between Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center (NorthPoint), Metropolitan Health Plan (MHP), and Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD) of Hennepin County.

Hennepin Health members receive care from a multidisciplinary care coordination team. Other innovative features include a common electronic health record, and tiered care that is based upon a member’s identified needs.

Find eligibility and enrollment information at the MNsure website.


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for more information.

2016 Annual Health Plan Selection for MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance members is happening now

Health Plan Selection

Source: http://mn.gov/dhs/health-plan-selection/

If you are on MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance (Medicaid), you have the option of choosing a new health plan for 2016.

The 2016 annual health-plan selection period runs from September 1 through December 11, 2015. (This used to be called "open enrollment.")

In Hennepin County, the plans available in 2016 will be different from the plans available in 2015. No one will lose coverage as a result of this change. If your current plan will not be available in 2016, you just need to select a new health plan.

How do you select a new health plan?

Instructions for selecting a new health plan are included in the health-plan selection letter you should have received in the mail. You can select a health plan by completing and returning the form that came with the letter or by contacting DHS’ Minnesota Health Care Programs Member Help Desk at 651-431-2670 or 800-657-3739 (free interpreter services are available).

Important dates you need to know:

  • Early September to mid-October 2015: Health-plan selection letters are mailed
  • October 20, 2015: If you have not received a health-plan selection letter, contact the Minnesota Health Care Programs Member Help Desk.
  • December 11, 2015: Deadline to select your health plan for 2016
  • January 1 - February 29, 2016: Opportunity to change your health plan, for any reason

For more information, read this annual health-plan selection brochure or call Hennepin Health Member Services at 1-800-647-0550.

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Kelsey Dawson Walton heading Hennepin Health outreach initiative


In advance of Hennepin Health’s January 1 expansion, staff are engaging in additional outreach activities. The mission: promote health plan awareness, build relationships, and educate people about Hennepin Health.

Hennepin County’s Kelsey Dawson Walton is overseeing a six-person outreach team. Team members were chosen because they represent Hennepin Health’s diverse demographic; for instance, members speak languages other than English and come from communities of color.

Beginning November 2, Dawson Walton’s outreach team will begin going out into the community. They’ll frequent Hennepin County Human Service Centers as well as Hennepin Health clinic sites at Hennepin County Medical Center and NorthPoint. They’ll also visit culturally specific places like the Midtown Global Market, Mercado Central, and Karmel Mall (Minneapolis’ largest Somali mall). Trips to homeless shelters like YouthLink are also planned.  

In addition to site visits, there will be a media and communication component to Hennepin Health’s outreach. 

Dawson Walton says that Hennepin Health outreach is “an evolving process.” She’s hopeful that going out into the community will help Hennepin Health better understand who its potential members are and determine where gaps exist — and further outreach is needed.

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Register for Nice Ride’s Orange Bike Program

Orange Bike

Hennepin County residents 18 years and older who live on Minneapolis' North Side or in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood may be eligible to participate in Nice Ride’s Orange Bike Program.

Participants are given an orange Nice Ride bike (and a helmet, lock and key) to keep at home for four months over the summer. If they log at least three rides per week, attend four community events, and return the bike and its accessories at the end of the season, they receive a $200 gift certificate to Venture North bike shop. They can use the certificate to upgrade an old bike or purchase a new one.

Sign up for 2016 today. To register, send an email to NorthPoint’s LaTrisha Vetaw at lvetaw@northpointinc.org

To learn more, read an article about the Orange Bike Program on Healthy You, Healthy Hennepin, the county’s online public health magazine.

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Hennepin Health and NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center host Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees


On October 21, a team from Hennepin Health participated in a meeting and discussion at NorthPoint with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Board of Trustees. The RWJF is the largest health-focused philanthropic organization in the world, and its Board of Trustees oversee the foundation’s strategy. The Board holds its annual meeting in a different city each year, during which time they meet with — and learn from — local health leaders. 

During the meeting, the Hennepin team discussed NorthPoint’s integrated approach to care and community health — and Hennepin Health’s approach to funding that work and addressing social determinants of health. Participants held up the program as a model for building a Culture of Health nationwide. 

To learn more about a Culture of Health, read a message and watch a video from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF President and CEO.

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Update on Hennepin Health’s Flexible Member Fund project

Flexible Member FUnd

Could a light bulb, a day planner, a bus pass, or a bike ride impact a person’s health?

Since its inception, Hennepin Health has been hearing from providers that small-dollar items and services could make a difference for patients — potentially improving their health care use, lowering their health care costs, and increasing their level of satisfaction and engagement — but that there isn’t a funding mechanism in place to buy them.

So, in 2015 Hennepin Health used money from its administrative budget to pilot a “Flexible Member Fund” project. In January, care coordinators were invited to submit proposals for up to $1,000 worth of small-dollar items or services. Here are a couple of things they purchased:

  • A bike lock for a member who depends on his bike for transportation
  • A small, inexpensive “lock box” for a member to continue her methadone use on the weekends
  • Clothing for a member who desperately needed basic items
  • Pots, pans, dishes, flatware, towels, and a can opener for a member who was moving into independent housing
  • Ear plugs, lanyards, wallets, locker padlocks, shower flip flops, and backpacks for members in a shelter
  • A tent for a member who was sleeping outside
  • School supplies for a member who was starting class
  • YMCA gym memberships for several members with chronic medical, mental health and/or chemical health concerns

During the first week of his gym membership — a member who has long struggled with alcohol abuse disorder shared this story with Medicine Clinic staff: 

“It’s been two weeks since I drank, and I was feeling pretty good until I got a call that I didn’t get that job I was trying for. My record with DWIs, all that, made them decide not to give me the job after all. I felt like crying. I still feel like crying. After that call, I felt like drinking, and I came really close to starting back up again. But I decided to exercise first, and then go start drinking. So I exercised really hard for about an hour, got really sweaty, and tired.  After I got done, I didn’t even feel like drinking anymore. Another day sober. I’m going to try that again.” 

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