Taking Action Express: Hospital Safety Scores are In!; 365 Days of Wellness; Rx Guiding Coalition…

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

MN Hospitals on Par with, or Better than, National Averages

MN Community Measurement recently announced the availability of new results for five hospital-based health care quality measures. This information can be used to compare hospitals within Minnesota state and national averages.

“These measures are relevant for patients seeking health care and also have value for hospitals as they strive to improve their quality of care,” said Jim Chase, MNCM President. “Hospitals have been submitting outcome data for years, and it’s important to draw attention to what they are reporting and to put it into context for patients.”

These results show that Minnesota hospitals had average or better than average performance compared to hospitals in other parts of the nation:

Full results are available at MNCM’s public reporting website, mnhealthscores.org.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are In!

Click on image to view results

The Fall 2016 update to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade (see here), formerly known as the Hospital Safety Score, was released yesterday. This program has grown exponentially in recent years, and has become the trusted source for patients and families to choose a safer hospital. Leapfrog Group has also added even more resources to the website, on how to choose the best hospital, and how to protect yourself from medical errors during your stay.

“As the regional roll-out leader in Minnesota when The Leapfrog Group was launched, The Action Group continues to encourage every state hospital to participate,” says Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO. “We also encourage our members to make the Safety Guide available to their employees.” 


Don’t Miss Out! Add These to Your Calendar:b14b60ce-2391-4e2f-ab7d-489cb07bd8df

Mental Health Care Delivery Network Now Forming!

Click image to view invitation

At the most recent Action Group Member Meeting, attendees told us that a Care Delivery Learning Network to address mental health would provide the greatest opportunity for learning and impact in 2017. We are now in the process of building the agenda, conducting a market assessment, identifying key informants, and inviting employer participants. Members tell us that Learning Networks are one of The Action Group’s most valuable offerings. Past topics have addressed areas of high cost, overuse and variability in back pain/spine surgery, total joint replacement, maternity and infertility, and specialty pharmacy.

Click here to see the FOUR key reasons to join the Mental Health Learning Network!

Please contact Carolyn Pare (952-896-5185, cpare@mnhealthactiongroup.org), or Deb Krause (952-529-1119, dkrause@mnhealthactiongroup.org) with questions.

(To provide objectivity and independence, as well as to protect confidentiality, only Action Group purchaser-members are permitted to join the Learning Network.)

Is There a Remedy for Skyrocketing Rx Costs?


Prescription medication costs have risen into double-digit increases for 2016, and these expenses are going to continue to rise into next year, according to Segal’s 2017 health plan cost trend study. The prescription drug cost trend for active employees and early retirees is projected to be 11.6% in 2017, up from 11.3% in 2016.

The projected specialty drug, or biotech, trend rate for 2017 is exceptionally high at 18.7%, and while less than 1% of all medications are specialty drugs, respondents to Segal’s survey indicated those drugs now account for 35% of total projected prescription drug cost trends for 2017. Read the full article here.

Following two years of study and a Community Dialogue on this topic, The Action Group is convening a multi-stakeholder Guiding Coalition to determine specific action items, deliverables, and a multi-year timeline to effect change in Minnesota and nationally.


Americans Fed Up with Soaring Drug Prices

The proportion of Americans who support price controls or caps on drugs and medical devices has now increased to 81 percent. That’s a steady rise from the 64 percent and  73 percent seen in similar Harris Poll surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Click here for full coverage.


You’re Invited! November Member Meeting: Hot Trends in Preventing and Treating Diabetes

Diabetes remains the costliest traditional therapy class for payers for the fifth consecutive year. Plans spent an average of $77.60 per member, per year, on diabetes medications in 2015, a 14% increase over 2014, driven equally by increases in use and cost of medications in the class. And, with 27.8% of adults with diabetes currently undiagnosed, and a rich pipeline of new therapies, diabetes will remain a major contributor to drug spending in the years to come.

Please join us for our November meeting, where we will examine this costly epidemic and determine how we can work together to prevent diabetes when possible, and treat effectively when necessary.

November 15, 2016
8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. (Networking begins at 7:30 a.m.)

Hilton Airport/MOA Hotel
3800 American Boulevard E.
Bloomington, MN

Please RSVP to Sue Jesseman (sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org). If you are interested in becoming an Action Group member and attending the meeting, please contact Sue.

Have you completed your Advance Care Directive?

Advanced Care PlanningNew advance planning blogs now available online!

The Action Group has prepared a free Advance Care Planning Employee Communications Toolkit.

To view the Advance Care Planning Statewide Call to Action, click here.

Making Hospital Care Safer

“Hospital safety breakdowns…kill over 200,000 Americans each year, making these errors the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. But not all hospitals are alike. The Leapfrog Group today announced its Fall 2016 release of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a program which assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals bi-annually…”

Leapfrog Group
October 31, 2016

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