12:00 A.M.

Thursday, March 13


Mary Fischer

Executive Director

Southern Prairie Community Care

(507) 215-2280 (Cell)


Martiga Lohn

Minnesota Department of Human Services

(651) 431-2729


Stephanie Devitt

Project Manager, Beyond the Bottom Line

(612) 437-0899  



Twelve-County Health Care Redesign Receives Boosts to Launch Next Phase of Improving Health, Amplifying Coordination and Cutting Costs



Marshall, Minn. – Southern Prairie Community Care (SPCC) will launch the next phase of creating a seamless health and human service system with the announcement of a contract with Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) to participate in a demonstration and a $400,000 one-time grant from Beyond the Bottom Line, a partnership of Minnesota foundations.


The grant will support launch of SPCC’s new cloud-based technologies that will facilitate this coordination and identification of new service-improvement opportunities. 


“With this shared data system, everyone from providers to nonprofits to government can track our progress on shared priorities so that we’re working together to make the same measurable impact on people’s lives,” explained Mary Fischer, Executive Director of SPCC.  “This investment will enable new, real-time conversations about our work across health care professionals, local government and others, and we’re excited to take our partnership to the next level.”


Led by county commissioners of 12 counties in Southwest Minnesota, SPCC has been working for more than two years to create a new model of joined primary care and community-based service together for improved community health.  Once the data system is fully launched this spring, the region’s most high-need patients will benefit from highly-coordinated services that ensure receiving medical treatment is effective, and follow-up support needed to keep patients healthy is readily accessible. 


“Under our new systems, we’re making health care work for health and for our communities,” noted Fischer. “By facilitating coordination and sharing information across sectors and geographies, we’re creating a seamless experience for patients with the greatest health needs, and providing them with more comprehensive treatment options while reducing costs at the same time.”

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In addition to the grant, SPCC recently signed a contract with DHS to be the first multi-county partnership to participate in the Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP) demonstration. Under this contract, SPCC will test the “total cost of care” payment approach designed to support and encourage improved patient health at lower cost by agreeing to a set payment for treatment of the entire population, rather than receiving traditional “fee-for-service” model where payment is tied to frequency and type of treatment.

 “Minnesota has been at the forefront of national efforts to pay for health care in new ways that support better health and a more easy-to-navigate system, and Southern Prairie’s cross-county work is a shining example of these efforts,” explained DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.


The new IHP payment model is part of a larger series of innovations created to redesign health care spending in new ways that encourage and support better health for larger groups. Minnesota’s Accountable Health Model and Reform 2020 are also part of the larger effort, and implementation of new models is underway at several health systems statewide. However, SPCC is the only multi-county and cross-sector partnership to employ this model to date.


“Launching this next phase of work for SPCC is a great win-win-win for Southwest Minnesota that wouldn’t be possible without strong leadership from our county commissioners, area providers, and nonprofits and local governments across the region.  The additional support received from Beyond the Bottom Line will help us translate these partnerships into real improved experiences and improved health for people across the region. We’re very fortunate,” concluded Fischer.


“Seeding innovation is never easy, but creating new approaches to delivering health care and improving health that cut across the geography and sectors of Southern Prairie is incredibly impressive,” added Allison Barmann, Vice President of Strategy and Learning for the Bush Foundation, a principal contributor to the Beyond the Bottom Line grant.


“We applaud Southern Prairie’s work bringing together leaders from local governments, health care providers, insurers, and community-based services across the spectrum of needs in shared pursuit of improved health,” she added.


The grant provided will support SPCC’s work for 18 months, and will also include investments to catalogue and share lessons learned, enabling broader learning among health care, human services and local governments across the region.


To learn more about SPCC’s work, visit  For additional information about DHS’s health reform initiatives, including IHP, visit




Southern Prairie Community Care (SPCC) works to enhance the quality of life for citizens in Southwest Minnesota through integration of clinical care, social services and community health provided across the region’s 12 counties. The unprecedented partnership brings together local governments, health care providers and nonprofits, facilitates information-sharing to create smooth and easy client experiences, and works to improve the lives and health of the area’s diverse and vulnerable populations.


The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is Minnesota’s largest agency with a broad range of services including health care, economic assistance, child welfare services, and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.  Innovation to redesign human services for better outcomes at lower costs is one of four agency goals, and also includes the Reform 2020 and Minnesota Accountable Health Reform statewide initiatives.


Beyond the Bottom Line is a partnership of six Minnesota foundations aimed at highlighting and supporting promising examples of government service redesign. The initiative’s key actions have included reports offering ideas for redesigns (Minnesota’s Bottom Line, 2009; Beyond The Bottom Line, 2011), as well as sponsorship of programs, events and convenings that support promising redesign efforts in Minnesota. Participating foundations are the Bush Foundation, Blandin Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation.