5 Diabetes Rx Trends; C-section Rates Soar; Mystery of Patient Wishes

June 14, 2016

The Weekly Buzz: Five Rx Trends Employers Should Understand

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. As researchers and clinicians conclude the American Diabetes Association’s 76th Annual Scientific Session this week, here are five things for employers to know about diabetes use and spending trends in the U.S.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is contracting with The Action Group to engage employers and insurers in four funded communities to make the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) a covered benefit for employees. Find our Fact Sheet, FAQs, and Glossary of Terms, along with information about Minnesota diabetes initiatives here.

Don’t Miss Out! Add These Dates to Your Calendar:

National Expert on High-value Maternity Care Presenting at June Member Meeting

pregnancyIn recent news, researchers say that in nearly half of the cesareans performed in the U.S., the babies could’ve safely been delivered vaginally instead. Many employers tend to focus on the few high-risk maternity cases that result in enormous neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) costs, rather than on the opportunities that lie in improving health for mothers and babies, while reducing costs by decreasing unnecessary C-sections. Click here for a new article: “11 Hospitals to Avoid if You Don’t Want a C-section Birth.”

Please join us on June 22 as special guest, Brynn Rubinstein, senior manager for transforming maternity care at the Pacific Business Group on Health, shares recommendations for promoting high-value maternity care. We will also hear from local thought leaders. So we can better understand the experiences of our members, please click here to take a brief pre-meeting pulse survey. Click here to learn more or to register.

Not yet a member but interested in this important topic?
Contact Sue Jesseman for a special guest pass.

Save the Dates!

July 27: Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Recognition Reception

bridge-2016-smThe Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) program advances care delivery and outcomes by rewarding clinics for meeting or exceeding a strict set of care standards for patients with diabetes, depression and vascular disease. Each year, we gather to reward those clinics providing exceptional patient care. To learn more about MNBTE, click here. Details about the July 27 Recognition Reception from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. will be posted soon!

August 11: Community Dialogue: Improving the Value of Specialty Drugs

prescription-drug-costsThe Action Group’s Specialty Pharmacy Action Network members have been hard at work for more than a year identifying the issues surrounding the high cost of specialty drugs, developing possible solutions, and learning what actions need to be taken to reshape the marketplace. On August 11, 2016, we will be bringing together all interested stakeholders to share perspectives, knowledge and ideas about this important topic affecting the U.S. economy, public and private purchasers, individuals with chronic and serious conditions, and all taxpayers. You do not need to be a member of The Action Group or the Specialty Pharmacy Action Network to attend. Details will follow, but you may RSVP now to Sue Jesseman at sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org.

Honoring Choices Minnesota: Sharing the Experience

Advanced Care PlanningRegistration is now open for the July 21 advance care planning event, Honoring Choices Minnesota: Sharing the Experience. “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to present on the importance of advance care directives at The Action Group’s Summit this year,” says Karen Peterson, executive director of Honoring Choices Minnesota. “I hope members will join us at our event to learn how they can lead the way in supporting employees and their family members by providing the advance care planning resources needed to take action.”

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

Advance Care Planning in the News

9d1389d1-b2a0-405a-9ae2-db7cf102e035“Electronic health records are now ubiquitous in hospitals, and the systems give patients what could be a better way to communicate their wishes on treatment options at the end of life. But in too many cases, physicians using the systems struggle to find the documents.”

This Sunday Star Tribune article explores why less than one-third of emergency room doctors in the U.S. feel confident that they are able to find patient advance care directives in electronic medical records.


Thought for the Week

“Getting under 24 percent for low-risk births is something all hospitals should be able to do,” says Elliott Main, M.D.,  medical director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that works to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in that state. In fact, Main says, “for those deliveries, hospitals should be aiming even lower.”

Consumer Reports, June 9, 2016