Taking Action Express: Diabetes Care for MN; Health Literacy = Better Health; Capitol News…

May 19, 2015

Natl-DPP-graphicThe Weekly Buzz: National Diabetes Prevention Program Coming to Minnesota

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 (NDPP) a covered benefit for employees. To learn more about NDPP in Minnesota and to view the open project coordinator position, click here.

The Importance of Raising Health Literacy Levels

Medical experts agree: A patient’s health literacy—the ability to understand medical language, actively listen, analyze treatment plans, make daily decisions, and ask health providers relevant questions—affects health outcomes and medical adherence. In fact, patients with the lowest personal health care management skill levels and confidence incurred costs averaging up to 21 percent higher than patients with the highest skill levels.

Here are some resources to help you boost health literacy among your employees:

prescription-drug-costsSpecialty Pharmacy Learning Network Phase II Kicks off May 27; All-Member Meeting May 21

The Action Group’s Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network kicked off last October, and is being extended for another six months. Even if you were not a part of Phase I, if you are an employer-member, you are invited to join Phase II, which kicks off on May 27. We will be offering a Specialty Pharmacy Boot Camp to get you up to speed on everything we learned during Phase I. For more information, please contact Carolyn Pare (952-896-5185) or Linda Davis (952-484-7970). All members are invited to our May 21 meeting, where we will gather to review the Phase I Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide.

Not Yet a Member?

We hope you’ll join us! Click here to see how you can benefit from becoming an Action Group member.

Did You Know?

Action Group members may post job openings in fyi and Express at no cost. Simply send your request to Sue Jesseman.

Help Wanted: Hennepin County Benefits Manager; University of MN Benefits Financial Analyst

Hennepin County. Hennepin County is seeking a Human Resources manager with proven ability to use creativity and innovation to build on its quality benefit programs and initiatives. Duties involve planning and directing the design, implementation, communication and administration of employee benefits programs that exceed $200 million in annual expenditures. Click here to learn more.

University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota, with its own self-insured health care program for employees and dependents, is seeking a financial professional with experience in health programs to act as the primary resource on all financial aspects of its benefits programs. Additional analytic experience in the areas of general business, human resources, and HRMS (PeopleSoft preferred) is a strong consideration. Click here to see the full job description.

Minnesota_State_Capitol_5From the State Capitol

With the legislative session rapidly coming to a close, the health care conference committee members met all weekend and through the night to finalize their bill, finally wrapping it up around 6 a.m. Sunday.

A more thorough recap of the bill’s contents will be forthcoming, but some of the highlights include:

  • The final package cuts a little over $300 million from the forecasted Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, roughly between the House’s original $1 billion+ reduction and the Senate’s $341 million in new spending.
  • The MnCare program will continue, with slightly higher price tags for patients.
  • The language affecting prior authorization laws for pharmacy was not included in the final deal, which is very good news. That being said, this issue will definitely come up in future legislative sessions.
  • The bill creates a task force to look at the future of financing health care in Minnesota, including the Health Care Access Fund and MinnesotaCare.
  • Nursing homes were the biggest winner in the end, receiving over $130 million in new spending for facilities and staff.

The legislature must adjourn by Monday at midnight. Several other areas of the state budget remain contentious, especially K-12 education. A special session over those issues is still possible. For now, the HHS budget questions have been settled.

Thought for the Week

“Just 12 percent of adults have ‘proficient health literacy,’ according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. In other words, nearly 9 out of 10 adults – or over 91 million Americans – may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.”

From a blog post by Carolyn Pare