LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Meeting for Members and Prospective Members; End-of-life Care Planning; Breathtaking Rx Costs; November is Diabetes Awareness Month…

October 20, 2015

“We just encourage people to talk. It is uncomfortable to broach the subject, but once you start it, it’s really hard to stop.”

Sue Schettle, CEO of the Twin Cities Medical Society and executive director of Honoring Choices Minnesota

Weekly Buzz: End-of-life Care Top-of-mind

Talking about end-of-life care can be emotional and unsettling, especially when it occurs during the throes of a health crisis. There are large gaps in communication between patients and their providers and family members that need to be bridged. “The Obama administration this summer proposed reimbursing doctors for advance care planning conversations with Medicare patients. Coming seven years after the highly political ‘death panels’ debate, the Medicare decision applies to Americans age 65 and up and is slated to begin in January.” Read more in this Sunday Star Tribune article about end-of-life care.


STILL TIME TO REGISTER! October 21 Member Meeting: Opening Conversations about End-of-life Care

During our next meeting for members and prospective members, we will explore the limitations of health care delivery and what really matters in end-of-life care. Featured speakers include Steve Calvin, M.D., co-chair of the Program in Human Rights and Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Jennifer Lundblad from Stratis Health; and Sue Schettle and Karen Peterson from Honoring Choices Minnesota. (Sue’s comments were featured in the article mentioned above.) To RSVP or to view meeting details, please click here.


  • Nearly 30 million  U.S. children and  adults have  diabetes.
  • Another 86 million  Americans have  prediabetes and  are at risk for  developing type 2
    diabetes.
  • The American  Diabetes  Association  estimates that the  total national cost  of diagnosed
    diabetes in the  United States is  $245 billion.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

American Diabetes Month® (ADM) takes place each November and is a time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes.

The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. ADM is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are affected by the disease.

To learn more, or to access free newsletter articles, fact sheets, and posters (available in English and Spanish), click here. To learn more about new evidence linking smoking cessation to lowered diabetes risk, click here.

To view Action Group tools and resources that enable employers to take action to lower the incidence and cost of diabetes, click here.


The Goose and the Elephant: A Closer Look at Breathtaking Drug Costs

“The last thing pharma wants is a vigorous, in-depth national discussion of pricing, value, what we can afford, and how other advanced countries handle drug spending. All this could kill the golden goose.” In this blog by Dr. Brian Klepper, a health care analyst and principal in Health Value Direct, he declares it “high time for public and private U.S. payers to consider both the measurable value of drugs as well as the accepted pricing of those drugs in other advanced economies.”

Dr. Klepper also discusses whether cancer care is “ground zero for reform,” in this October 13, 2015, article. “Change has been simmering in oncology for some time, but now it is coming to a boil. It is clear that cancer professionals such as physicians, researchers and society execs have felt uncomfortably complicit with a paradigm that too often extracts exorbitant sums of money for minuscule clinical benefit,” he says.

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Thought for the Week

“People have priorities in their life besides living longer. They have things they live for that are bigger than themselves. The most reliable way to learn what matters most to people, what those loyalties are, is a highly technical procedure — you ask them. And we don’t ask.”

Atul Gawande, M.D. (at a recent Minneapolis Foundation conference)