HealthPartners and Allina Hospitals and Clinics operations in Anoka and Sherburne counties were able to reduce costs and improve care as part of an unique project between competitors. Results from the first year show that the organizations were able to:

• Slow growth of total medical costs, worth about $6 million.

• Encourage physicians to prescribe more generic prescription drugs, reducing costs by $1 million.

• Reduce emergency department visits by 5 percent.

• Reduce hospital admissions for chronically ill patients by 6 percent.

• Reduce readmission rate for heart patients by 3 percentage points.

• Eliminate elective induction of labor prior to 39 weeks, reducing Caesarean sections, infections, premature delivery and other special care.