Hospitals Commit to Transparency; Task Force to Review MNsure and MinnesotaCare; Helping Employees Choose Wisely; Nat’l Immunization Awareness Month…

August 4, 2015

Weekly Buzz: Record Number of Hospitals Commit to Transparency

LF2012-t-leapfrog-logoLast year, just over 1,500 U.S. hospitals voluntarily completed the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the highest recorded participation to date. While hospitals are demonstrating an increased commitment to transparency, a new report released by nonprofit hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group calls for more hospitals to report to the Survey in order to help inform health care decisions for all Americans. 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.

Task Force to Review MNsure and MinnesotaCare Takes Shape

A new state task force has been formed to consider the future of Minnesota’s public health care programs including MNsure and MinnesotaCare. Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday released his 11 appointees to the task force, which was created through legislation earlier this year to tackle thorny questions about financing and operating the state’s health care programs. Read more here.

“Because The Action Group is the only Minnesota organization whose sole purpose is to represent the collective voice of those who pay the bill for health care – employers, public purchasers, and individuals – we will be watching this work very carefully from the perspective of those who are writing the checks,” says Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of The Action Group. “Our work continuously drives change that contributes to improving health and ensuring the economic vitality of all Minnesota communities.”

Are Your Employees Choosing Wisely?

choosingwiselylogoThe Choosing Wisely campaign began in April 2012 when nine medical specialty societies representing 375,000 physicians each identified five tests and procedures that might warrant additional conversations between doctors and patients about the need – or lack thereof – for these frequently ordered tests or treatments. More than 70 societies comprising over one million clinicians are now partners of the Choosing Wisely campaign. There are over 220 tests and procedures identified as “not always necessary.”

Consumer Reports supports the ABIM Foundation Choosing Wisely campaign by developing consumer-friendly educational tip sheets. The Action Group has been a Consumer Reports Communication Partner for the Choosing Wisely campaign, providing resources to help patients and providers engage in conversations about the potential overuse of Choosing Wisely tests and procedures. Check out the co-branded webpage The Action Group has with Consumer Reports to help your employees learn to choose wisely. Some communication pieces are even available in Easy-to-Read and Spanish versions.

National Immunization Awareness Month

Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the lifespan. Activities focus on encouraging all people to protect their health by being vaccinated against infectious diseases.

The National Immunization Awareness Month Communication Toolkit was developed by National Public Health Information Coalition (PHIC), in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to help employers communicate the importance of vaccination.

We learned last week that too few teens are getting the HPV vaccine, leaving them at risk for several types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC released data from the 2014 National Immunization Survey, which showed 4 of out 10 girls and 6 out of 10 boys, age 13 to 17, have not started the recommended HPV vaccine series.

The Minnesota Department of Health offers excellent immunization educational resources for all types of audiences. Click here to learn more.

 Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Resources Now Available Online!


Well over 400 Achievement and Improvement Awards, representing a payout to rewarded clinics of over $1.5 million, were announced during the annual Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) celebration of improvements in patient care, held July 15, 2015.

To learn more about MNBTE, or to view the press release, a comprehensive list of rewarded clinics, or a slide show of the event click here.

 Thought for the Week

“Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.”

Centers for Disease Control