MNCM Releases Health Equity Report; Summit and Member Meeting Registration, Benefits Survey Open; Cadillac Tax Adjustments…

February 16, 2016

Weekly Buzz: MN Community Measurement Releases 2015 Health Equity of Care Report

MNCM released its 2015 Health Equity of Care Report last week. The second-year report deepens understanding of health care disparities in Minnesota with the addition of two major features: four patient experience measures segmented by race and Hispanic ethnicity; and comparable medical group reporting of the five quality measures included in last year’s report.

Here is a link to the news release and 2015 Health Equity of Care Report.

Only One Week Left! Action Group Annual Employer Benefits Survey

The Action Group will be concluding its sixth annual online Employer Benefits Survey next week. “We would like to see all of our members participate,” says Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO. “Participants continuously tell us the results are an integral part of their benefits development strategy.” If you have questions or are are interested in participating in the Survey, you may contact Pat Sukhum. It is open to members and non-members.

Please mark your calendar with these key dates:

February 8: Survey launch – invitation to participate

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. 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

187All Action Group members are invited to gather to review the Phase II Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide – and all have online access to  the Employer Purchaser’s Guides through the Member Center. There are Guides on back pain and surgery, maternity and infertility, total joint replacement, and specialty pharmacy (Phase I).


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:

Minnesota Ranks 7th in Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® 

8ca9ed25-3813-4fa8-bc44-b9ce22f6f1fbThe Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index includes more than 2.3 million surveys, capturing how people feel about and experience their daily lives. Levels of well-being correlate with health care utilization and cost, and productivity measures such as absenteeism, presenteeism and job performance – all critical to organizational and economic competitiveness. Well-Being Index data provide a comprehensive view of well-being across five elements: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical.



Prescription Price Shell Game Features The Action Group 

kare11Special Senior Advisor to The Action Group’s Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network, Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer, was featured in this December KARE11 story where he describes the “dirty little secret” in the prescription drug business: PBMs that are essentially “playing a shell game” by quietly raising unreported drug costs instead of lowering them. Dr. Schondelmeyer and Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO, appeared in a follow-up story on Monday. Reporter Jay Olstad states, “Businesses are starting to realize they’re victims of price-gouging…”

Obama Budget to Adjust Health Insurance Cadillac Tax

President Barack Obama will propose tailoring the controversial “Cadillac tax” on expensive private health insurance plans to reflect regional differences when he releases his 2017 budget plan this week, a senior White House adviser said in an article released on Wednesday.

Obama’s proposal would reduce the bite of the unpopular tax by raising the threshold where it takes effect in areas where healthcare is particularly expensive, according to the article in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-written by Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Thought for the Week

“Leading employers are beginning to step up as champions, investing to help their employees live and work better, and cultivate the behaviors that keep us well and better manage illness. These leaders know that investments in employee well-being have a measurable and sustainable impact on business performance, as well as far-reaching benefits that impact the health of our nation.”

Donald J. Tramuto, CEO, Healthways