Taking Action Express: NEW MNCM Disparities Report Available; Nat’l Health Care Decisions Day; April Leadership Summit…

March 31, 2015

disparitiesThe Weekly Buzz: 2014 Health Care Disparities Report Now Available

Low-income patients in Minnesota with diabetes and vascular disease had better control over their conditions in 2014 than the year before, according to the eighth annual Health Care Disparities Report released last week. Conducted by MN Community Measurement (MNCM) and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), the report evaluates care outcomes for patients enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) on 12 quality performance measures. Public reporting alone can’t drive improvements in care. Common measurement metrics tied to pay-for-performance and consumer information are also important. For example, The Action Group works closely with MNCM to drive quality improvement initiatives through Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE). DHS participates in the MNBTE reward system through the companion program, the Quality Incentive Payment System, paying rewards for optimal care for diabetes, vascular disease and, in 2015, depression.

2015-NHDD-Icon-96National Health Care Decisions Day is April 16

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is set aside to remind all Americans about the importance of ensuring that their future health care choices are known and protected. Regardless of age or current health status, everyone is encouraged to complete an advance directive. NHDD will be observed in a number of ways in Minnesota. Click here to learn more, and to access free tools and resources you can use at your organization.


2015summiticon-01It’s Spring! Time to Renew, Refresh, Reinvigorate…and Register for the 8th Annual Employer Leadership Summit

We hope you will join us for a full day of inspiring presentations and conversations on April 17, 2015. We will feature national and international health care and benefits thought leaders, the Innovator’s Showcase, employer roundtable, interactive polling, networking opportunities, sponsored booths, and lively discussions. Click here to see the agenda. Action Group members attend at a discounted rate. Not yet a member? Click here to view a brief video and to learn how to join.



Countdown to the Summit
Meet Brian Klepper, Ph.D.!

National thought leader Brian Klepper will be presenting “Purchasers unite! Taming the alive and vibrant health care value monster,” at this year’s Summit. Dr. Klepper is a health care analyst, commentator and entrepreneur. He is CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), representing 55 regional business health coalitions, about 4,500 employer and union health benefits purchasers, and some 35 million people. He is also principal and chief development officer for WeCare TLC, LLC, a worksite primary care clinic and medical management firm based in Lake Mary, FL.

Natl-DPP-graphicHelp Wanted: NDPP Project Coordinator

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is contracting with the Minnesota Health Action Group to engage employers and insurers in four funded communities to make the National Diabetes Prevention Program a covered benefit for employees. To support us in this work, we are seeking a temporary, part-time Project Coordinator to create the employer section of the NDPP toolkit. Ideally, we’re looking for a graduate student pursuing a master of science in health communication, health care marketing, health care marketing communications, or similar field of study. Click here to see the full job description. Click here to see a guest blog by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Gretchen Taylor.

Minnesota_State_Capitol_5From the Capitol

Last Friday, the legislature reached its unofficial midway point. The annual Easter/Passover Break this year will extend throughMonday, April 6, 2015. Before leaving town, legislators left everyone with plenty to think about as we head into the final seven weeks. The biggest news came in the form of budget target announcements from the House and Senate, that outline how each body intends to put together their own fiscal proposal for FY2016-17. The proposals are dramatically different from each other both in scope and aspiration, especially in the area of health and human services.

Republican House leadership has instructed their HHS committees to cut over $1 billion from next biennium’s health spending projections. Even in a health care world where significant cuts have almost become expected, this is a massive reduction. Rep. Matt Dean, chair of the HHS Finance committee, says he intends to tackle this goal by first eliminating and then re-imagining MinnesotaCare with more choice for consumers. The hope is this would reduce costs by approximately $500 million, and would be augmented by proposals to perform tougher eligibility audits on the state’s public health programs and other reductions in spending.

On the other side of the street, the DFL-led Senate has proposed a modest spending increase in HHS of approximately $341 million. Drawing a line right down the middle of the two targets would mean a more than $600 million cut to the HHS budget, and both House and Senate have publicly pledged to spend substantial new dollars in the area of long-term care.

Any way you look at the numbers, budgets will get tight quickly and a number of difficult conversations will be had when legislators return from their districts.

Thought for the Week

“Nice variety. Love to hear from providers, payers, employers and innovators. All excellent. Great day! LOVE the Innovation piece.”

Comments from a 2014 Employer Leadership
Summit Attendee