New data tool allows everyone to find local data about impact of health care, provider tax

Betsy Hammer
May 15, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) rolled out powerful new web-based tools chock-full of data about health care. The dashboards are user-friendly and provide visuals like maps and charts, as well as an option to download the raw data. Now everyone can find their inner health care wonk.

The Investments in Health Care dashboard helps illustrate the economic impact of Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, including number of claims, total payments in dollars, number of health care providers, and average payment per provider. The Who Medicaid and MinnesotaCare Serve dashboard includes county-level data about number of enrollees, percentage of enrollees, and type of participant. The dashboards build on DHS’s Medicaid Matters report.

Some statewide takeaways: Medicaid enrollment is about evenly split between the metro area and Greater Minnesota, but Greater Minnesota has a higher portion of residents who use Medicaid (Medical Assistance). Kids, elderly folks, and people with disabilities are the main groups that get affordable health care through Medicaid. And, Medicaid has lower health care spending per enrollee in Minnesota compared to 2012.

In addition to being interesting for the nerds among us, this data provide incredibly useful numbers to help explain why Medicaid and MinnesotaCare are so important. For example, in Anoka County, 17.4 percent of the population uses Medicaid to access health care, while that percentage is much higher in Cass and Wadena counties where it is over 30 percent. The tools also show that in Morrison County, 105 providers received Medicaid reimbursements and countywide Medicaid payments totaling over $51 million. That’s a huge economic impact!

Medicaid and MinnesotaCare are a vital source of affordable health care for more than one million Minnesotans. However, the health care provider tax – which provides about $700 million in revenue to help fund these health care programs and other health care investments – is set to expire at the end of this year. Add your voice and tell your legislators to repeal the sunset on the provider tax and maintain affordable health care in Minnesota.

-Betsy Hammer