|00:00:00||AND BUDGET CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE AS A NATION.|
|00:00:04||THE PROBLEM WILL CONTINUE TO GROW UNLESS WE ACT.|
|00:00:07||RATHER THAN CUTTING CARE FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE, HOWEVER, WE MUST DEVELOP SMART WAYS TO CONTAIN COSTS.|
|00:00:16||A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THIS TYPE OF INNOVATIVE APPROACH IS SOMETHING THAT I'M PROUD TO DESCRIBE FOR YOU AND IT'S HAPPENING IN MY DISTRICT.|
|00:00:25||THE PROGRAM IS CALLED, HENIPIN HEALTH PROGRAM IN MINNESOTA.|
|00:00:32||IT'S RUN BY THE COUNTY AND IT INTEGRATES CARE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH THE HIGHEST NEED.|
|00:00:41||SO LOW-INCOME POOR INDIVIDUALS NEEDING HEALTH CARE CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE TO TREAT BECAUSE THEY END UP GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AS THEY DON'T HAVE A REGULAR CARE PROVIDER, AND YET IT ADJUSTS TO THIS SITUATION AND TREATS THEM ON A COST-EFFECTIVE BASIS.|
|00:00:59||THESE INDIVIDUALS OFTEN FACE MANY CHALLENGES SUCH AS CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY, CHRONIC ILLNESSES LIKE DIABETES AND OTHERS, AND UNSTABLE HOUSING.|
|00:01:08||THEY TRY TO IDENTIFY THE HOLISTIC NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL, WHETHER THOSE NEEDS HAPPEN TO BE MEDICAL CARE, HOUSING, OR FINDING A JOB.|
|00:01:19||HERE ARE A COUPLE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO THIS INNOVATIVE PROGRAM HAS ALREADY HELPED.|
|00:01:24||A 50-YEAR-OLD NATIVE AMERICAN MAN FROM MY DISTRICT IS CHRONICALLY HOMELESS AND SUFFERS FROM HEPATITIS C.|
|00:01:31||HE USED THE EMERGENCY ROOM AS HIS PRIMARY MEDICAL CARE, BUT THIS WAS ONLY BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE TRANSPORTATION TO A CLINIC.|
|00:01:39||HE WAS ENTITLED TO A FREE BUS PASS BUT DIDN'T HAVE AN ADDRESS TO RECEIVE IT.|
|00:01:46||HENNEPIN CONNECTED HIM WITH A SOCIAL WORKER TO PICK UP HIS BUS TICKETS AND NOW HE'S ABLE TO SEE A CLINIC FOR HIS HEALTH CARE, KEEPING HIM OUT OF THE EMERGENCY ROOM WHICH IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE TYPE OF CARE AND WHICH YOU CAN'T BE REJECTED FROM FOR GOOD REASON BECAUSE IT WOULD BE INHUMANE TO DO SO.|
|00:02:03||THE PROGRAM IS ALSO HELPING A AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN IN DISTRICT WHO HAS HAD A HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE, KIDNEY DISEASE, AND HOMELESSNESS.|
|00:02:13||THEY WERE ABLE TO CONNECT HIM TO HOUSING PROVIDERS WHICH HELPED HIM STAY OUT OF THE EMERGENCY ROOM AS WELL.|
|00:02:18||HE IS NOW ABLE TO GET ALL OF HIS MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS ADDRESSED AT A HEALTH CARE HOME.|
|00:02:27||THESE ARE GREAT SUCCESS STORIES.|
|00:02:30||PEOPLE WHO ARE LOW-INCOME WHO HAVE SERIOUS HEALTH CHALLENGES, WHO DON'T HAVE ANY HEALTH CARE SO THEY SEEK -- AS A LAST RESORT, THE EMERGENCY ROOM, WHICH HAPPENS TO BE VERY EXPENSIVE TO TREAT THEM AT.|
|00:02:44||THIS IS NOT THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY NOR COMPASSIONATE WAY TO TREAT THEM ONGOING REGULAR TREATMENT FROM A PROVIDER IS WHAT'S NEEDED.|
|00:02:55||THEY HAVE SAVED MONEY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HAS HELPED PEOPLE, MEMBERS OF OUR SOCIETY, AMERICANS, GET THEIR HEALTH CARE NEEDS MET.|
|00:03:03||AS SOME CITIES HAVE FOUND, 1% OF THE INDIVIDUALS IN A SAFETY NET PROGRAM CAN OFTEN ACCOUNT FOR UP TO 1/3 OF THE COSTS BECAUSE OF THIS PROBLEM OF ENDING UP IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM.|
|00:03:15||BY COORDINATING CARE FOR HIGH NEED INDIVIDUALS, HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS CAN GREATLY REDUCE COSTS WHILE ALSO PROVIDING BETTER CARE.|
|00:03:26||WHILE HENNIPIN HEALTH PROGRAM IS NEW, IT'S EXTREMELY PROMISING AND HAS ALREADY DEMONSTRATED IT CAN BE A MODEL FOR THE NATION.|
|00:03:33||AND I MIGHT ADD, MR.|
|00:03:35||SPEAKER, THIS IS GOVERNMENT, YES GOVERNMENT, DELIVERING GOOD SERVICE AT AN AFFORDABLE LOW COST BY BEING SMART.|
|00:03:47||CHOCK ONE UP FOR THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER AND PEOPLE WHO ARE IN CHRONIC NEED OF HEALTH CARE.|
|00:03:53||IT'S A GOOD IDEA.|
|00:03:54||I'M PROUD OF IT.|
|00:03:57||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLELADY FROM CALIFORNIA, MS.|
|00:04:00||WOOLSEY, FOR FIVE MINUTES.|
Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, the rising cost of health care is one of the most difficult policy decisions and budget challenges that we face as a Nation. The problem will continue to grow unless we act.
Rather than cutting care for the most vulnerable, however, we must develop smart ways to contain costs. A great example of this type of innovative approach is something that I'm proud to describe for you, and it is happening in my district. The program is called Hennepin Health program, and it is in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It is run by Hennepin County, and it integrates care for individuals with the highest need. Low-income, poor individuals needing health care can be very expensive to treat because they end up going to the emergency room, as they don't have a regular care provider, and yet the Hennepin Health adjusts to this situation and treats them on a cost-effective basis.
These individuals often face many challenges such as chemical dependency, chronic illnesses like diabetes and others, and unstable housing. Hennepin Health tries to identify the holistic needs of the individual, whether those needs happen to be medical care, housing, mental health treatment, or finding a job.
Here are a couple of individuals who this innovative program has already helped. A 50-year-old Native American man from my district is chronically homeless and suffers from hepatitis C. He used the emergency room as his primary medical care, but this was only because he didn't have transportation to a clinic. He was entitled to a free bus pass, but didn't have an address to receive it. Hennepin Health connected him with a social worker to pick up his bus tickets, and now he is able to see a clinic for his health care, keeping him out of the emergency room, which is, of course, the most expensive type of care and which you can't be rejected from for good reason, because it would be inhumane to do so.
The program has also helped an African American man in my district who has had a history of heart disease, kidney disease, and homelessness. Hennepin Health was able to connect him to housing providers, which helped him to stay out of the emergency room as well. He is now able to get all of his medical and mental health needs addressed at a health care home.
These are great success stories, people who are low income, who have serious health challenges, who don't have any health care, and so they seek the health care of last resort, the emergency room, which happens to be very expensive to treat them at. This is not the most effective way nor the most compassionate way to treat them. Ongoing regular treatment from a provider is what is needed. Hennepin Health has saved money, and more importantly has helped people, members of our society, Americans, get their health care needs met.
As some cities have found, 1 percent of the individuals in a safety net program can often account for up to a third of the cost because of this problem of ending up at the emergency room. By coordinating care for high-need individuals, health care programs can greatly reduce costs while also providing better care.
While Hennepin Health program is new, it is extremely promising and has already demonstrated it can be a model for the Nation. I might add, Mr. Speaker, this is government, yes, government, delivering good service by being affordable, low cost, and smart. Chalk one up for the American taxpayer and people who are in chronic need of health care.
Mr. Speaker, Hennepin Health is a good idea. I'm proud of it.