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Published on April 15, 2016

Altru & You with Medica: New ACO Option for Residents of Northwestern Minnesota, Northeastern North Dakota

MINNEAPOLIS—Altru and Medica announced today a collaboration on an accountable care organization (ACO) option.  The ACO, called Altru & You with Medica, will be available to group purchasers in northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota. The two organizations are targeting a third quarter 2016 effective date. 

Under an ACO model, the provider and the health plan work together to improve the quality of care, manage the total cost of care, and optimize the consumer experience.  The partnership between Altru and Medica is focused on care with patients at the center, surrounded by a highly skilled team of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals and support staff. The plan features direct access to specialists – a member may see any primary or specialty care provider in the Altru network without a referral. 

ACOs have become an important and widespread part of the U.S. healthcare landscape. Employer groups are increasingly interested in ACOs as a means to manage healthcare costs.  “As the healthcare landscape changes, we must change to best adapt to patients’ needs. Our relationship with Medica furthers creativity around clinical and service models, financial approaches, health and wellness services and patient engagement,” stated Dwight Thompson, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for Altru Health System. “While keeping patients at the center, our goal is to create better outcomes, a better patient experience, and lower the overall cost of providing care.” 

Said Scott Reid, Medica vice president for commercial product and operations: “Medica and Altru share a commitment to deliver health care services that make our members and patients the centerpiece. Combining our strengths through Altru & You with Medica delivers on that commitment and gives consumers the opportunity to directly experience the benefits of our collaboration through the features and cost savings available when receiving health care through the ACO.” 

The ACO model will help shape members’ behaviors through helpful resources, personal support and increased engagement across multiple channels – web, mail, secure email, telephone and personal outreach calls. The functionality of our collaborative model and integrated tools: 

  • Makes it easier for our members to manage their care
  • Proactively makes members aware of opportunities to improve their care decisions
  • Helps members lead healthier lives by providing personally relevant information
  • Increases collaboration between members and their physicians and pharmacists 

Altru & You with Medica includes access to care in more than 30 communities throughout a network of more than 560 providers plus regional access via telemedicine. In Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, care is provided at 13 locations including an acute care hospital, a specialty hospital, inpatient rehabilitation hospital, various clinics, Altru Cancer Center, Altru Advanced Orthopedics, Sanny & Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention & Genetics, Truyu Aesthetic Center and Yorhom Medical Essentials.  Altru & You with Medica includes the following features: 

  • Discounted health coaching sessions with a certified health and wellness coach can give members the tools, motivation and support they need to set and achieve goals related to nutrition, fitness, stress, sleep and more. 
  • A team of medical providers, dietitians and exercise specialists to help patients lose weight. Altru’s Weight Management Program includes assessments, group or one-on-one lifestyle change sessions, online nutrition and fitness monitoring at a discounted fee for members.
  • Comprehensive, personalized care for your bones, joints and more. Specialized programs at Altru Advanced Orthopedics include joint replacement, cartilage restoration, specialized hand and shoulder surgery, and concussion management.
  • MyHealth online patient portal. Members can access their medical records, communicate with providers, schedule or cancel appointments, pay bills, view most test results, and request prescription refills.
  • A variety of online care options. E-visits or video visits from a computer or mobile device to treat non-urgent problems. Or, patients may go to their hometown health facility for a video visit with an Altru specialist at another location. 

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a specialty hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, and a large home care network. It employs more than 200 physicians and 4,000 staff and has an annual net operating revenue of more than $524 million. As the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru’s providers have access to clinically integrated tools extending Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to patients. 

About Medica

Medica ( is a health services company headquartered in Minneapolis and active in the Upper Midwest. With approximately 1.7 million members, the non-profit company provides health care coverage in the employer, individual, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Part D markets in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Medica also offers national network coverage to employers who have employees outside the Medica regional network. 

Medica’s vision is to become the community’s health plan of choice, trusted for its integrity, respected for its service, and admired for its commitment to innovation and efficiency.  Medica partners with the communities it serves in many ways, including the Medica Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable grant-making foundation.  The Medica Foundation, which provided $1.5 million in grants in 2015, generally seeks to fund community-based programs and initiatives that can provide sustainable, measurable improvements in the availability, access and quality of healthcare. 

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