Taking Action Express: Join Us for Magical Happy Hour! Common Procedure Costs Vary Widely; Register for Leadership Summit…

March 3, 2015

adverseevents2015The Weekly Buzz: New Report: Annual Adverse Health Events in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health’s “Adverse Health Events in Minnesota: 11th Annual Public Report” is now available. On behalf of its members and the community, The Action Group provided seed funding to assist in designing the original reporting protocol, and convenes discussions with local health plans to discuss how they can work with hospitals to improve performance, use this information to structure their reimbursements to hospitals, and promote hospital performance information to consumers.




transparencyLack of Transparency Apparent

What consumers with health insurance spend for a number of common medical services varies greatly, according to a new analysis of four major insurers by the Health Care Cost Institute. This analysis suggests patients would benefit from shopping around, but often can’t because of the entrenched lack of price transparency. Consumer out-of-pocket spending for common health care procedures can vary from $10 to nearly $1,000. The Minnesota Health Action Group continues to advocate for transparency in health care and to foster collaboration and innovation between business, health plans, health care providers, and political leaders. Read about how transparency is the cornerstone of The Action Group’s work in this blog from Carolyn Pare.

2015summiticon-01Time to Register for the 8th Annual Employer Leadership Summit: Renew, Refresh, Reinvigorate

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. Click here to see the agenda.

Would you like to participate as a Summit sponsor? Sponsorship gives you the opportunity to share your messages with key decision-makers from around the region. Click here to learn more.

Don’t Miss the Early Bird Special!

Minnesota Health Action Group Members: $99
($199 after March 20)

Non-members: $199
($299 after March 20)


diabetesHappy Hour Event to Help Make Diabetes Disappear

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) will be hosting a happy hour with strolling comedy-magic on Thursday, March 12, 2015, from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at Pinstripes in Edina to raise awareness about diabetes and to showcase tools and resources the ADA offers to help organizations educate employees about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. Click here to learn more and to register for this fun and informative event.




cw_colonMarch is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Free Employee Education Materials Available

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death from cancer. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a free employee communications toolkit available. Additionally, Choosing Wisely® is promoting better communications about this important topic through its “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” series. Click here to see a recent Action Group blog about Choosing Wisely; click here to learn more about The Action Group’s partnership with Consumer Reports.



Annual Conference 2015 page rHRFree Registration to NBCH 20th Annual Conference for Action Group Members

This year’s NBCH Annual Conference, Achieving Health Care Value: No Purchaser is an Island, will be held in Dallas, TX, November 16-18, 2015. Action Group employer members are welcome to register without a fee, which is normally $850 for non-members and $500 for members. Click here to learn more and to register.

Minnesota_State_Capitol_5From the Capitol

MNSure was again a hot topic at the Capitol, in light of the most recent report from the Legislative Auditor that outlined the troubled first year in more detail. House Republicans still say they want to “fix MNsure” to the extent they can, but so far Senate Democrats have been the most active on that front, with Sen. Tony Lourey pushing legislation to transition MNsure into a proper state agency and redesign it’s governance structure.

Friday saw the release of the latest state economic report card. Buoyed by low gas prices and a strong U.S. dollar, Minnesota saw its budget surplus grow to $1.87 billion for the FY2016-17 biennium. Looking even further ahead, a structural surplus of just over $3 billion is estimated for FY2018-19. While much of the attention will be focused on debating long term transportation and education funding versus tax cuts, some Capitol observers are hopeful that the growth in the state’s surplus increases the chances that the health and human service budgets are held harmless during the spending discussions.

For more information on today’s economic forecast, please visit the website.

Thought for the Week

“Complete transparency of cost and quality information is a key goal for the Minnesota Health Action Group. We want consumers to get the best care, at the right time, in the right place, for the right price. This means we have to serve our employees and their family members so they can have affordable coverage that supports high quality care.”

Carolyn Pare
President and CEO, Minnesota Health Action Group