Hot Specialty Rx News; Carolyn Pare is CSAC Chair; Congratulations SEGIP

August 17, 2016

The Weekly Buzz: Specialty Pharmacy Community Dialogue

Nearly 150 people came together last Thursday to discuss how to collaborate to get the 5 rights, right: Right drug, right price, right setting, right patient support, right data. Representatives from employers, health plans, specialty pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmaceutical companies, and provider organizations began to explore what actions can be taken to reshape the marketplace.

“Judging by the turnout and the active participation by so many stakeholders, I am very encouraged that we can make steady progress toward developing solutions, holding one another accountable for getting the 5 rights, right,” said Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of The Action Group. “The next phase of our work will include forming a Guiding Coalition to prioritize the actions we will take to ensure the sustainability of prescription drug programs.” If you attended this meeting, please take our Survey! Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us shape our vision for the future.

Interested in participating in the Guiding Coalition?

We are looking for representatives from employers, health plans, specialty pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmaceutical companies, and provider organizations to join our Specialty Pharmacy Guiding Coalition. If you are interested, you may contact Carolyn Pare (, or send a message through the website (

Related and interesting…

Carolyn Pare to Serve as Chair of CSAC


The Action Group announced last week that Carolyn Pare, its president and CEO, will serve as chair of the national Consensus Standards Approval Committee (CSAC). Carolyn took on the national leadership role, effective July 1, 2016, having served as vice chair in 2015. She will serve a one-year term as committee chair. Click here to view the full press release.


New payment models for maternal care could deliver lower costs

Pregnant WomanThis new article describes how Community Health Choice in Texas is testing a program aimed at saving money while improving care for pregnant women and newborn babies.

The model was a bundled-payment system, where providers receive a lump sum for all medical care in an episode, instead of being paid per service. The model has gained popularity in Medicare in recent years as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks to contain costs while maintaining or raising the quality of health care.

To learn more…

As a follow up to The Action Group’s Maternity and Infertility Learning Network and Purchaser’s Guide, high-value maternity care was the topic of discussion during the June member meeting. Brynn Rubinstein, senior manager for transforming maternity care at the Pacific Business Group on Health, shared recommendations from their Purchaser Value Network’s (PVN) guide to help business coalitions and purchasers promote high-value maternity care. Members may view the meeting presentations and access the Maternity and Infertility Purchaser’s Guide in the Member Center. PVN materials and toolkits are available to the public.

This new Modern Healthcare editorial examines the reality that the finances of major health insurance carriers are showing very healthy profits, despite some exchange-plan losses.

Choosing Wisely® Eases Provider/Patient Conversations

choosingwiselylogoChoosing Wisely centers around promoting conversations between providers and patients, informed by the evidence-based recommendations of “Things Providers and Patients Should Question.” Visit the Minnesota-specific website for resources to support meaningful conversations.

To read Action Group blogs about Choosing Wisely...

Bringing Choosing Wisely to Life
Choosing Wisely Fits into Health and Wellness Strategy at the City of Minneapolis

State Government Innovation Awards Announced

72c50e97-15af-4313-8576-2849f9c31aceThe Humphrey School of Public Affairs has awarded 10 Minnesota agencies with State Government Innovation Awards for their creative work and projects. Among them is the Minnesota Management and Budget’s health insurance unit, the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP), a long-time Action Group member. SEGIP’s Employee Diabetes Prevention Program focused on changing food habits, increasing activity levels, and overcoming psychological barriers. In the first year, more than 5,000 employees and their dependents enrolled in the program, losing more than 41,000 pounds and reducing their risk for type 2 diabetes. Read the whole story here.

Thought for the Week

“As a global biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie is focused on developing innovative therapies to address some of the world’s greatest health challenges and unmet patient needs. We are committed to advancing health care and improving quality of care and quality of life and, as such, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with The Action Group’s stakeholders, via the Community Dialogue meeting and beyond, to lead efforts to ensure that the value of specialty drugs is maximized from both a patient and payor perspective.”

Christopher Compisi, General Manager, AbbVie