News & Announcements

NJ Medicaid ACOs and Look-alikes Learn From Minnesota

By: The Nicholson Foundation

On October 26-28 2015, members of New Jersey’s QI Collaborative travelled to Minneapolis to take part in the annual QI Collaborative Learning Trip. Funded by The Nicholson Foundation, the QI Collaborative is a learning and support network for New Jersey’s Medicaid ACOs and look-alikes, which provides technical assistance, training, and advocacy. In keeping with this mission, the Learning Trips are designed to expose ACO leaders in New Jersey to best practice models in other states, and to spur stronger networking and collaboration.

The Collaborative came to Minneapolis to attend the annual IHP Peer Learning Day and learn about their journey in developing Minnesota’s Medicaid accountable payment model, called IHPs (or Integrated Health Partnerships). Though the specific compositions of Minnesota’s IHPs and New Jersey’s ACOs and the laws governing them differ, the two models share a common goal -s reducing the total cost of care for Medicaid patients while maintaining or improving the quality of care. The groups from Minnesota and New Jersey came together to “share our successes and share our challenges,” according to Mat Spaan, manager of health care delivery and payment reform at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The event mixed formal presentations and panel discussions with small group break-out sessions and networking events. Issues discussed included hiring and training staff, measuring success, navigating the legal environment, integrating mental health and substance abuse treatment into primary care, and payment strategies for funding the ACO/IHP organizations. A critical difference between the states is that Minnesota supports the IHPs by funding their infrastructure and up-front costs, and Managed Care Organizations provide shared savings. In New Jersey, the ACOs and look-alikes must raise their own funds to support their operations.

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About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city’s major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city’s Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT aims to make Trenton the healthiest city in the state. Support for the Trenton Health Team was provided in part by a grant from The Nicholson Foundation. For more information, visit