Specialty Rx Reads of the Week; Is Hypertension Sapping Productivity? Health Care Financing Task Force Update…
September 15, 2015
Fairview Mesaba Clinics-Hibbing was recognized for achieving the program’s specific clinical outcomes for patients with vascular disease. Click here for the full story.
Weekly Buzz: 3 Ways Hypertension Affects Your Bottom Line and What to Do About It
Did you know high blood pressure is one of the 10 most expensive conditions for U.S. employers? Research found that the economic burden of illness is highest for hypertension — $392 per eligible employee — compared to nine other conditions, including heart disease, depression and mental illness, and arthritis. In this recent Employee Benefit News article, learn more about why employers should care — and the important role they play in improving high blood pressure control among employees.
September 24 Action Group Member Meeting to Feature NDPP; Maximizing Wellness Investments
The business case for return on investment (ROI) of health and wellness programs has typically focused on financial measures of ROI driven by health care cost savings. Now there is momentum building behind creating a broader business case and performance story for health management. At our next member meeting, we will discuss this trend, along with the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). Two of our members will bring NDPP implementation case studies, and we look forward to hearing from others with NDPP experience as well. Click here to learn more about this meeting, or to submit your RSVP.
Specialty Pharmacy in the News
The Action Group began facilitating a confidential, peer-to-peer Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network last fall to discuss anxieties and strategies related to managing the burgeoning and increasingly complex specialty pharmaceutical market. The Phase I Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide is available to Action Group Members through the online Member Center.
Specialty Pharmacy Reading This Week:
- Two powerful and costly new drugs that can lower cholesterol are “vastly overpriced” based on the value they provide, according to a new report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. Read more in this New York Times article.
- With the price for some cancer drugs routinely exceeding $120,000/year, and some other specialty drugs costing upwards of $300,000/year, Americans are making it known they’ve had enough. In this New York Times op/ed piece, read one journalist’s view of how to begin solving for this escalating crisis.
- In this recent poll, “Making sure high-cost drugs for chronic conditions are affordable to those who need them,” emerged as the public’s No. 1 priority for President Barack Obama and Congress, with 75 percent of the public saying it should be a top priority, far ahead of various other Affordable Care Act issues. “Government action to lower drug prices,” was No. 2, chosen by 60 percent of the public and by 51 percent of republicans. “Why Higher Costs are Americans’ Biggest Worry,” appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal.
Health Care Financing Task Force Update
Last week the Health Care Financing Task Force heard presentations from the Department of Health and other stakeholders on the state of health disparities in Minnesota. Members also further organized their subgroups, all of which are to take the Triple Aim and health disparities into account with their discussions and recommendations to the full Task Force. Subgroups have been set up as follows:
Health Care Delivery Design and Sustainability. This group will focus on identifying delivery system strategies to reduce costs and improve health outcomes. Such strategies could include value-based contracting and payment models that encourage coordination of care. Recommendations are due by November 13, 2015.
Seamless Coverage Continuum and Market Stability. The charge of this group is to examine opportunities for creating financially stable and fluid coverage systems. Possible topics include alignment of eligibility systems, consumer cost sharing, and alternatives to the employer mandate. Initial proposals are due by October 23, 2015.
Barriers to Access. Identifying and reducing financial or structural barriers to access is the goal for this group. Recommendations are due by October 2, 2015.
The subgroups will be meeting frequently over the next several weeks, and we will keep you posted on how their discussions progress. Click here for more information.
Did you Know?
Action Group members may post job openings in fyi and express at no cost. Simply email your request.
Help Wanted: State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP)
The State of Minnesota is seeking an assistant director for SEGIP, which serves over 120,000 people. The assistant director will help manage and coordinate daily operations of the Employee Insurance Division (EID), assist with developing and implementing EID goals and strategies, monitor program performance compared to goals, manage relationships with key EID contractors, and manage and coordinate intra-agency and external communications, to ensure that all State of Minnesota employees have access to high-quality, cost-effective group insurance and other related benefits. Click here and search for job number 15MMB000039 to apply or to learn more.
Thought for the Week
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hypertension control, but employers who provide education, access to screenings, and a workplace that encourages positive behaviors set the stage for reduced health costs, improved productivity and a healthier workforce. This strategy doesn’t just benefit employees – healthy, productive employees help an organization achieve business goals and improve the bottom line.”
Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Medical and Quality Officer for the American Medical Group Association