Taking Action Express: U.S. Health Care Ranks Last; Adverse Events Alert; Total Joint Replacement

June 24, 2014

commonwealthThe Weekly Buzz: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally

This June 16 report by the Commonwealth Fund takes an unflattering look at the U.S. health care system. On indicators of efficiency, equity and healthy lives, the U.S. ranks dead last – and, in fact, ranks last among 11 wealthy nations overall.


adverseJune is National Safety Month: Learning to Prevent Adverse Health Events

The Minnesota Department of Health is a leader in the promotion of patient safety. Minnesota was the first state to start an Adverse Health Care Events Reporting System that tracks adverse events, such as wrong-site surgeries and medication errors, at hospitals and other facilities.

On behalf of its members and the community, The Action Group provided seed funding to assist the Minnesota Department of Health in designing its reporting protocol. The Action Group also 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.

To learn more:

CWTurning a Spotlight on Total Joint Replacement: Cost Does Not Always Equal Quality

At its next member meeting, The Action Group will release its brand-new Purchaser’s Guide for Total Joint Replacement, which will be available to all members. This Guide will help employers increase the value of supply-sensitive care1 that is subject to overuse or inappropriate use.

1Supply-sensitive care includes services that are overused because of the area’s supply of providers such as hospital beds, physician specialists, imaging equipment etc. It varies widely across the U.S. according to the Dartmouth Atlas Project.

193Rewarding Excellence in Health Care

Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE), a purchaser-led pay-for-performance program introduced by the Action Group in 2006, advances both care delivery and outcomes by rewarding clinics for meeting or exceeding a strict set of care standards for patients with diabetes, depression and vascular disease.

The Action Group and the MNBTE Champions of Change will be hosting an event on July 29 to recognize clinics that qualified for incentive payments from MNBTE and the State of Minnesota Quality Incentive Payment System. Champions of Change, the participating purchasers, will be providing more than $700,000 in performance incentives —- the highest annual amount since the program was implemented. More clinics are being rewarded in the categories of achievement and improvement this year in each of the three conditions included in the program.

187What’s Your Reason?

“I enjoy belonging to The Action Group because it’s impressive to see how Minnesota organizations are cooperating with one another to improve health care here in Minnesota.” Share your reason!