Taking Action Express: Employers Rejecting Exchanges; Free Events for Members and Non-members; Giving Health Literacy a Boost…

October 21, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.57.16 AMThe Weekly Buzz: Most Employers Reject Exchanges

In a departure from other industry polls, employers said they plan to reject private exchanges as a way to control rising health care costs, according to a new survey of more than 330 employers sponsored in part by the National Business Coalition on Health.

More than half (55%) of respondents indicate they will “never” stop sponsoring employee health plans in favor of giving employees money to buy coverage through a private exchange. Almost one-third (32%) said they are considering moving to a private exchange within 3-5 years, 8% are considering such a move within the next three years, and just 5% say they already use a private exchange to provide employees’ health benefits.

October is Health Literacy Month!

Did you know that 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? Or that nearly 75 percent of health care consumers said, when thinking about choices for major medical insurance, they “only sometimes” or “rarely” understand what’s covered?

“A strong majority of Minnesotans say they don’t want limits placed on their interactions with the health care system,” researchers concluded in a recent report by Minnesota HealthBasics. “Minnesotans want whatever treatment is prescribed by a physician; want to see specialists without referrals, and want health insurance to pay the full cost of care. And never mind the contraindications.” Through many Action Group initiatives, Minnesota employers are working on improving employee education to better manage unrealistic expectations such as these.

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

  • NBCH Action Briefs. As a member of the National Business Coalition on Health, The Action Group makes well over a dozen Action Briefs available to members and non-members. Topics vary widely, from shared decision making, to chronic and serious health conditions, to patient safety, to price transparency, and all include actionable workplace support strategies.
  • Choosing Wisely®. The Action Group and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) are among a prestigious group that received grants from the ABIM Foundation to help engage employers, physicians and patients in conversations aimed at reducing unnecessary medical tests and procedures through the Choosing Wisely campaign. Click here to learn more about how you can use Choosing Wisely to improve health literacy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 10.00.20 AMFree NBCH Registration for Action Group Employer Members

This year’s NBCH Annual Conference, Employers Transforming Health Care: The Power of Collaboration, November 10-12, 2014, will be held in Washington, D.C. Minnesota Health Action Group employer members are welcome to register without a fee. Please contact Ellen Thomson at ethomson@nbch.org to take advantage of this free registration, which is normally $850.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.25.33 AMRegister Now for Complimentary Diabetes Employer Summit/Education and Awareness Event

In honor of World Diabetes Day, Novo Nordisk, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association, and other community health care professionals have united to introduce the inaugural Diabetes Awareness Event at Mall of America from November 13-November 15, 2014.

Because of The Action Group’s commitment to prevention and optimal treatment of diabetes, Novo Nordisk has asked us to bring employers together to talk about workplace solutions. As such, we will be hosting an employer diabetes summit, titled “The Burden of Diabetes in the Workplace” on November 13 to complement the public events. The summit is open to members and non-members and there is no cost to attend.

Norma Streich and Melissa Vaughn of The Schwan Food Company are among the dynamic line-up of speakers. In 2012 and 2013, Schwan’s was recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the Healthiest Employers, and won the Silver Health at Work Award, sponsored by ComPsych Resources.


Employer Summit: The Burden of Diabetes in the Workplace (for members and non-members)

November 13, 2014
7:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Mall of America
Boundary Waters Suite (Level 4, East)
Bloomington, MN




PrintMN Health Action Group to Kick Off Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network

Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer, professor of Pharmaceutical Economics in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, will speak with The Action Group’s inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network on October 31, 2014 from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. This event is open to Action Group employer members who have paid the fee required to participate in the Learning Network.

If you are an Action Group employer member and would like to join our next Learning Network, please contact Carolyn Pare or Linda Davis for more information. Not yet an Action Group member? Click here for our membership packet and to learn more.

Thought for the Week

“Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information that is routinely available, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Without clear information and an understanding of prevention and self-management of conditions, people are more likely to skip necessary and insist on unnecessary medical tests. They also end up in the emergency room more often, and have a hard time managing chronic diseases.”

Minnesota Health Action Group Blog
Putting Choosing Wisely to Work