End-of-life Care “Our Cruelest Failure,” Cost of Care Up in MN; LAST CHANCE to register for Sept. 24 Member Meeting; Consumer Reports unveils NO COST resources…

September 22, 2015

mn-health-scoresWeekly Buzz: Total Cost of Care in Minnesota Increases Three Percent

The total cost of medical care in Minnesota increased by three percent over the past year for commercially insured patients, while the average price of the most common tests, procedures and services provided in clinics increased by six percent, according to a new report published by MN Community Measurement.

Still Time to Register: September 24 Action Group Member Meeting

The business case for return on investment (ROI) of health and wellness programs has typically focused on financial measures of ROI driven by health care cost savings. Now there is momentum building behind creating a broader business case and performance story for health management. At our next member meeting, we will discuss this trend, along with the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). Two of our members will bring NDPP implementation case studies, and we look forward to hearing from others with NDPP experience as well. Click here to learn more about this meeting, or to submit your RSVP.

healthychoicesGetting Started with Healthy Choices

Consumer Reports has brand-new employee communications resources for your employees – and they’re evidence-based and complementary. Healthy Choices offers advice about how to be a smart consumer in today’s health-care marketplace, where patients and their families are responsible for more and more of their own medical costs and decisions. The available tools help employees engage with their health-care providers, enabling them to choose the high-quality care they need while avoiding unnecessary services they don’t.

The Cost and Quality Conundrum of End-of-life Care

In his best-selling book, Being Mortal, author and surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande explores the limitations of health care delivery and what really matters in end-of-life care. On Friday, September 18, he brought his unique perspective to the Twin Cities to help transform the way we think about and deliver palliative and hospice care. Dr. Gawande talked about the fact that end-of-life care has shifted from the family home to hospitals and nursing homes – where caregivers are often unequipped to help individuals live a meaningful life to their last breath.

As part of its Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network,  Action Group members have been discussing the cost and quality conundrum associated with end-of-life care. During our October 21 member meeting, we will be discussing this sensitive topic and the role employers play in educating employees and assuring appropriate coverage and education. Be sure to save the date!

Thought for the Week

“…Our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives.”

Atul Gawande, M.D.