Benefits Survey Closes Feb. 29; MN DFLers Unveil Plans to Reduce Health Care Costs; Adverse Events Rise in MN; EARLY BIRD Summit Registration Open…

February 23, 2016

Weekly Buzz: House DFLers Propose Plan to Reduce Health Care Costs

A group of House Democrats unveiled a plan last week to help reduce health care costs for Minnesotans, with reducing prescription drug costs a top priority. The lawmakers also hope to “eliminate surprise billing, improve care for children, and reduce waste in the state’s health care system,” according to the news release. Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, authored a prescription drug cost transparency proposal that would require drug makers to report how much it costs to produce the drugs, including how much is spent on marketing and advertising.


Action Group Annual Employer Benefits Survey Closes Feb. 29!

The Action Group is conducting its sixth annual online Health Benefits Survey to encourage peer-to-peer information sharing, illustrate how Minnesota employers compare against other Minnesota employers, as well as national benchmarks, and share best practices. If you have questions or are interested in participating in the Survey, please contact Pat Sukhum.

Please mark your calendar with these key dates:

February 23: SURVEY DUE – final day for submission

March 30: (8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.): Final Report distributed at Survey Results Meeting (for Survey participants only)
April: Final report mailed to Survey participants unable to attend the meeting

Join Us for the 9th Annual Employer Leadership Summit

Registration is now open for The Action Group’s 9th Annual Employer Leadership Summit on April 22, 2016. This event is open to all and was sold out in 2015. We will feature national and international health care and benefits thought leaders, the Innovator’s Showcase, interactive polling, networking opportunities, sponsored booths, and lively discussions. There are a few booths left for sponsors. If you or a partner organization would like to sponsor an exhibit, please contact us!


March 9 Member Meeting: Specialty Pharmacy Phase II Purchaser’s Guide Review

187Through its Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network, The Action Group is taking steady steps toward addressing the breathtaking price tags associated with specialty drugs.

All Action Group members are invited to gather to review the Phase II Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide – and all have online access to the Guides through the Member Center.


Specialty Pharmacy Phase II Purchaser’s Guide rollout, Phase II discussion (Learn more here)

March 9, 2016
8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. (Networking begins at 7:45)


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

Specialty Pharmacy Learning Network Employer Goals:

Deaths Caused by Errors in MN Hospitals Reach Seven-year High

The number of patients who died in Minnesota hospitals due to errors reached a seven-year high according to the 12th annual Adverse Health Events In Minnesota Report released last week. There were 316 adverse events reported during the period, with 16 deaths and 93 incidents leading to serious injury. The most common causes of serious injury were falls, medication errors, and suicide/attempted suicide.
To read more about how The Action Group is involved in preventing medical errors, please click here.

End-of-life Studies Support Foregoing Curative Treatment for Some Elderly Patients

“Patients in their later years face a difficult choice between seeking grueling treatments that may not extend life and comfort measures. The U.S. medical system is tilted toward high-intensity care, experts say, with 27 percent of seniors treated with intensive care in their final 30 days. But researchers continue to study end-of-life care, and Medicare now allows billing for end-of-life discussions, allowing patients to learn more about what treatment would mean to their quality of life.” This recent USA Today article discusses the high-stakes issue: To treat, or not to treat? The Action Group covered this sensitive topic during a member meeting, which was followed by this blog from Carolyn Pare, president and CEO.

Related and interesting…
Ultimate Gift to Family: End-of-life Planning
End-of-life: The Real Health Care Crisis

Thought for the Week

“The culture has long had a belief that (doctors) can get everybody better no matter how sick, old or infected. But that turns out not to be true. Some people think giving up on treatment is tantamount to suicide, but in many cases, it can be the right choice.”

Arthur Caplan, Head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center