Hospitals agree on care plan for vulnerable adults

Four large Twin Cities hospitals have agreed to participate in a revamped health plan for the state's poorest and sickest adults.

Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty had agreed in March to preserve General Assistance Medical Care for more than 30,000 low-income adults, but hospitals later balked over low reimbursements.

Under this new deal, the Hennepin County Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview, North Memorial Medical Center and Regions Hospital will provide coordinated care under the GAMC program.

Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung said the deal includes caps on each hospital's enrollment.

"This new health care program using coordinated care delivery systems includes meaningful health care reform and important cost savings," McClung said. "The old GAMC was simply unaffordable and unsustainable and under this new system we are going to be able to reign in spending and still provide health care coverage for needy Minnesotans."

St. Paul DFL Rep. Erin Murphy, who negotiated the GAMC deal, said the agreement preserves the program for the state's neediest adults.

"From the perspective of the potential enrollees, the people who are served in GAMC, this is a good thing," Murphy said. "We are going to know where they can get their care and they are going to get care and that has always been my goal."

The new program will begin on June 1 as scheduled.

(MPR reporter Tom Scheck contributed to this report.)

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