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Pawlenty veto puts county health plan at risk


Fri, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Commissioner Chuck Amunrud, Fillmore County's commissioner who sits on the Joint Powers Board, requested the opinion of the other commissioners at their May 27 meeting. Five counties including Olmsted, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, and Winona together were to enter into managed care county based purchasing (CBP). The SteadFast Health Plan was developed by Olmsted County. The other four counties were invited to join in order to get sufficient enrollment to spread the risk and to share the cost, especially of the initial setup. SteadFast was to begin enrollment in October of 2008.

The intention was to bring any profits back to the counties and to use those dollars to provide early intervention and prevention services and reduce the need for expensive emergency care. The plan would contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which provides a fixed payment. If the CBP plan could provide services for less than the fixed payment, it would make money; if not, it would lose money.

The five counties had hoped to be the "default" plan or be assigned those individuals who don't have a preference for a specific managed health care plan. According to a letter from the governor addressed to Margaret Kelliher, speaker of the Minnesota house, dated May 23, 2008, he vetoed the bill since, "the bill provides a preference for one county based purchasing health plan," meaning SteadFast. Pawlenty suggests that about 30% of people enrolled in managed care plans through Minnesota Health Care Programs fail to designate a particular plan. He sees this lack of competition as diminishing the pressure to keep administrative costs down.

Social Service Director Thomas Boyd noted that the SteadFast Plan has many good things going in its favor as it is not just medical but includes mental health, long term care and more.

Amunrud explained that at the last Joint Powers meeting in Rochester, the group obtained a 60 day extension for a purchase agreement on a building in Rochester to be used for the offices for the CBP group. The extension was obtained to give time for the legislature to act. They were hoping to operate as the only plan in the county area as other CBP groups have done. Since that didn't happen, they tried to have a "default" plan where they would serve those who did not choose another plan like Blue Cross or U-Care. With the governor's veto, the SteadFast Plan would be one choice among others.

Amunrud said that th .....
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Preston moves forward with 2008 street improvements

Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Posted in Government

Brett Grabau of Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlick and Associates, the city's consulting engineers, detailed the plans and estimates for the 2008 street improvements at the council's May 19 meeting. Mayor Kurt Reicks was absent.

Grabau noted that ..... 
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Lanesboro Council holds public hearings on capital improvement projects

Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Posted in Government

The Lanesboro City Council held two public hearings before their regular meeting on May 19. The first one was for the Capital Improvements that will be done to the Community Center. Elizabeth Blakesley, who works with Mike Bubany at David Drown Asso ..... 
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Map omission stirs controversy

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - City of Rushford Village council members made clear their disappointment with the new county map and its failure to recognize the City of Rushford Village as a city at the county board's May 13 meeting. Commissioner Marc Prestby was absent ..... 
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Rushford Council sells business lot

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - A decisive step was made in Rushford Hardware's proposed move to north of town when the Rushford City Council voted, albeit reluctantly, to sell owner Greg Norstad's Lot #10 in the Rush Creek Business Park.

Norstad's store in the ..... 
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Harmony Council discusses antique mall and other projects

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Government

Plans will soon be underway for a new antique mall in Harmony's Industrial Park. Terry and Jean Ingvalson of Mabel will be putting up a new building which will house multiple antique vendors. Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates attended the City C ..... 
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Budget limits Spring Valley rec improvements

Fri, May 16th, 2008
Posted in Government

Parks Director John Fenske reported bids for replacing the blacktop surface of the tennis courts to the Spring Valley City Council members at their May 12 meeting. The surface replacement would cost about $36,960 for asphalt and about $38,586 for co ..... 
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Weight limits enforced on County Roads

Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - County Engineer John Grindeland fielded questions from board members at the May 6 meeting. A citizen called in Friday, May 2, to report an abuse of weight restrictions on a county gravel road. The county sheriff was notified and a deputy w ..... 
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Preston Fire Department to manage gambling

Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Government

At the May 5 Preston City Council meeting, council members considered three proposals submitted by local organizations applying for the opportunity to manage gambling activities at the B & B Bowl. Several months ago the council had decided to try to ..... 
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