To improve health care quality and cut costs, collaboration instead of competition

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In the Twin Cities region, Minneapolis-based Allina Health and Bloomington-based HealthPartners are competing providers. But in the northwest corner of the metro, the two nonprofit health systems are working together in a unique partnership. Allina and HealthPartners, which also offers insurance, joined forces in 2010 to create an initiative known as the Northwest Metro Alliance.Patients with HealthPartners or Medicaid insurance can get coverage in the area at any of the five Allina clinics, four HealthPartners clinics and Allina’s Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. Under the affiliation, the Northwest Metro Alliance serves approximately 300,000 patients in Anoka County and southern Sherburne County.The alliance emerged when both Allina and HealthPartners...

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