Taking Action Express: The 313% price difference in hip replacements; Employer Benefits Survey Coming Soon! Save the Date for Leadership Summit…

January 27, 2015

npr_news_iconThe Weekly Buzz: NPR Examines Huge Disparities in the Cost of Hip and Knee Replacements

Are people who pay $41,000 for a new knee in San Diego getting a better knee than people who pay about $19,000 in Fresno? And why is a hip replacement $18,000 in one Boston hospital, and $74,000 in another? National Public Radio reporter Robert Siegel examines the huge variances in this January 23 interview. Click here to learn more about the new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association study that has sparked renewed interest in health care price transparency. In 2014, The Action Group released its exclusive Purchaser’s Guide for Total Joint Replacement. Members may access the Guide by logging into the Member Center from our homepage.

Action Group Annual Employer Benefits Survey for Members and Non-members Coming Soon!

To learn more about the survey, and to review the 2014 Executive Summary, click here.
The 2015 Minnesota Health Action Group Employer Benefits Survey is the only resource that provides comprehensive health benefit benchmarks from Minnesota employers. Information provided in the full survey report is crucial in planning your benefits and positioning your organization relative to your local peers. Members often tell us the survey findings are among the most valuable aspects of membership.

If you are not yet an Action Group member and would like to participate, please contact Kris Soegaard (ksoegaard@mnhealthactiongroup.org, or 952-294-8396).

Mark your calendar with these key dates:

February 9 Survey launch – invitation to participate
February 23 SURVEY DUE – final day for submission
March 27
(8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.)
Final Report distributed at Survey Results Meeting (for Action Group member survey participants only)
April 10 Final Report mailed to survey participants unable to attend the meeting

2015logo-01_smallJoin Us for the 8th Annual Employer Leadership Summit

Save the date for The Action Group’s 8th Annual Employer Leadership Summit on April 17, 2015. This event is open to all. 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. Invitations will be going out and registration will be open next week. If you or a partner organization would like to sponsor an exhibit, please contact us!

Minnesota_State_Capitol_5From the Capitol

Governor Dayton’s budget proposal for the next biennium is set to be released this week, and with it will set clearer parameters for legislative discussions. The state’s financial health has improved over the last few years, however, the health and human services budget remains one of the fastest growing parts of the state budget. As a result, many legislators will be closely evaluating the value and results delivered by the Department of Human Services. Some have even speculated that budget cuts are on the horizon.

More information on Governor Dayton’s budget proposal can be found here.

Thought for the Week

“The first question we looked at was whether there is a relationship between the cost of the procedure and the quality. And there is not a relationship. We have high-quality episodes of care for knee and hip that are low cost and that are high cost.”

Maureen Sullivan
Senior Vice President of Strategic Services and Chief Strategy Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association