Taking Action Express: Docs Say Overtreatment Too Common; Diabetes now “King” of Employer Costs; We Want YOUR Blog!…and More!

SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Wasteful, Harmful Overtreatment Too Common, Doctors Say

Most U.S. physicians believe that overtreatment is harmful, wasteful and common, according to a new study published last week in PLOS One.

The over 2,000 physicians surveyed agreed that a large percentage of medical care, prescriptions and tests and procedures were unnecessary. Nearly 85 percent said the reason for overtreatment was fear of malpractice suits. Nearly 60 percent said patients demand unnecessary care. To view The Action Group’s key initiatives that support driving waste from the health care system, please click here. To help clinicians and patients have better conversations, check out the many free Choosing Wisely materials.

Don’t Miss Out! September 21 Member Meeting Reminder   

At our September member meeting, we will discuss how to make employee wellness programs more effective. In addition to hearing about 3M’s success story, there will also be a fun, fast-paced audience participation activity designed to uncover creative, actionable employee well-being activities and initiatives.

If you have not yet sent your RSVP, or if you are considering membership and would like to attend, please contact Sue Jesseman: (sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org).

Curious about how to better understand employee/consumer behavior? Learn more about psychographic segmentation, which helps classify people according to why they behave and make decisions the way they do.  


The Top Costly Conditions for Employers: Diabetes is “King”

An important first step employers can take in better managing the steep and relentless rise in health care costs is to identify the most costly and prevalent conditions.Employee Benefit News just released this slideshow of the top 10 costly conditions in the U.S., showcasing type 2 diabetes as the “king of rising health care costs.” With one in three U.S. adults now at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, The Action Group is collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Health to make the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) a covered benefit. Here are some tips and tools to help guide your employees to resources and programs that can help them stop diabetes in its tracks:

Keeping Up in the Blogosphere! We Want Your Great Ideas!

Action Group blogs are contributed by members, staff and partners, each of whom shares their unique viewpoint on a wide variety of topics. If you have an idea for a blog, or would like to contribute one of your own (we’ll even help you write it!), please contact Deb Krause (dkrause@mnhealthactiongroup.org).

New blogs!

Is Health Care Transparency Truly Possible?

…Consumers remain in the dark about what they will be asked to pay after visiting a primary care doctor, or undergoing a procedure. In that way, health care is unlike every other aspect of the consumer experience in America.” In her new blog, Action Group President and CEO Carolyn Pare asks the provocative question: “Is health care transparency truly possible?”

Bountiful Resources In Your Own Backyard: Thoughts on Smart Use of Data

If you don’t know about the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database (MN APCD) — or if you know about it but you and your benefits consultants aren’t using it to augment their analyses and inform your health care purchasing decisions, you are allowing an excellent data source to go to waste. Guest blogger Diane Stollenwerk shares her thoughts on the smart use of readily available data.

Thank You for Sharing Your Perspective

Why do members engage with The Action Group? How do they engage? What do they find most valuable? These and many more questions were developed by the Action Group Board for a survey designed to ensure we are meeting and exceeding member expectations. View Action Group Board member Deidre Serum’s recent blog here.  

Help for 75 Million Boomers!

Complimentary October Choosing Wisely employee communications from the Minnesota Health Action Group and Consumer Reports are ready! The focus is on the importance of taking control of our health and health care as we age.

As the 75 million Baby Boomers get older, they present a host of challenges and opportunities for the health care system. While the growth in Boomer patients is putting pressure on a stressed health care system, their willingness to take personal responsibility for their health and adopt what’s new and better may speed advances in things like second opinions and patient-centered technology.

Here is a quick guide to some common tests and treatments for older adults that can help your employees and/or their aging parents get the care they need, while avoiding unnecessary (and sometimes dangerous and costly) tests and treatments. Simply use this link to learn more, and to help your employees improve patient/provider conversations: “Getting the Care to Stay Healthy as You Age.” 

Choosing Wisely content is available at no cost to all Minnesota employers. Action Group members have access to the entire 12 months of content by logging into the Member Center on the homepage.

Innovation Update: Making and Meeting Specialty Rx Goals

Over 40 Specialty Drug Guiding Coalition members from more than 20 employer and vendor organizations have been working together since February to find solutions to specialty drug cost and access challenges.

As one pharmacy benefit management (PBM) coalition member said, “Being part of the Guiding Coalition has really helped me understand the difficult decisions employers face when deciding what to cover.”

See our Innovation Update here to learn about our 2017 and 2018 goals.

Pharmacy Industry News: 
  • Costly Drugs to Weigh on U.S. Employers in 2018 (Reuters, September 18, 2017)
  • Specialty Drug Prices Increase at Fastest Rate in Over a Decade (AARP Special Report, September 7, 2017)
  • Health Care Spending Spikes Due to Improper Diabetes Drug Adherence (Specialty Pharmacy Times, August 31, 2017)

Member Only Meetings:
If you are considering Action Group membership and would like to learn more, please contact us for a complimentary member meeting pass.  
Public Meetings and Events:


“The push to bring transparency to health care pricing and quality has been going on for years, but still the industry undoubtedly remains one of the nation’s most opaque. The scarcity of price and and quality information is often blamed on the high cost of care.”
Modern Healthcare‘s Special Report on Transparency

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