The future just got healthier for millions of Minnesotans, thanks to being one of seven states to receive a $45 million State Innovation Model (SIM) testing grant through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). “We are very excited to receive this grant,” said Mark Schoenbaum, Director of the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. “It’s a great opportunity for rural communities to get new support and build on the kinds of innovations that already take place in rural areas.”
The grant was awarded to Minnesota in February 2013 and will be used over a three year period ending in October 2016. The grant will be used to test new ways of delivering and paying for health care using the Minnesota Accountable Health Model framework. The goal of this model is to improve health in both rural and urban communities, provide better care, and lower health care costs. Up to three million Minnesota residents are expected to receive care through this model over the three year period.
“The grant component the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care is most directly involved in is the emerging professions project, which we administer,” Schoenbaum said. “Funds have been made available for a rapid expansion of emerging professions like community health workers, community paramedics and dental therapists. We expect over the next couple years, that rural Minnesota will see more professionals working in these fields.”
Funds will also be used to bring additional state certified healthcare homes to rural areas. “We currently have more than 300 state certified healthcare homes in both rural and urban areas of our state. Through the grant, that model will spread even farther and reach more rural Minnesota practices,” Schoenbaum said. “The grant will be used statewide, in rural and urban areas. Every community is unique and the grant is supporting solutions that fit each area’s characteristics.”
Back to September Branch
Mark Schoenbaum is the director of the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, a position he has held since 2005. He has been with the MN SORH since 1996.
What are the most significant things you’ve done with and for NOSORH–and how has it helped you as a SORH director?
It’s tough to narrow it down. Two themes that come to mind are:
· Watching and being part of NOSORH’s growth and development into a leading national organization has helped inspire me to be entrepreneurial in my state office.
· NOSORH has given me the opportunity to get experience analyzing national health policy issues, and that has helped me better understand and contribute to policy discussions in my state.
What do you mean by being “entrepreneurial” in your Office?
In addition to learning from my colleagues around the country how to make the most effective use of the core state grants that we have available as SORHs, we are always looking for opportunities to add complementary activities to our work. In addition to being the PCO for our state, we have a portfolio of state workforce development programs, and manage the state’s trauma system and medical education subsidy. We’ve been inspired to keep our eyes open for such opportunities both by the entrepreneurial spirit of Teryl and the NOSORH Board leadership, and by our colleagues in other states who have been creative in expanding their reach.
How have you analyzed health policy with NOSORH–and how this was applied in your state?
I think my first policy activity with NOSORH was after passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act. CMS published regulations and asked for comments. Since I had an interest in looking at these issues, I approached the NOSORH leadership at the time-and they encouraged me to draft something up. Those comments ended up being submitted by NOSORH. It whet my
appetite for joining the Policy Committee and continuing that kind of work. In addition to that committee, I’ve also rotated through the Executive Committee as NOSORH President-Elect, President and Past President, and have served on other committees including the Flex Committee.
NOSORH has certainly given me more than I have given it. I’d encourage everyone to get involved!