Taking Action Express Week 14: A quick look at what’s new

April 29, 2014

The Weekly Buzz: Has Media Coverage of Health Care Increased Consumer Understanding?

In this new guest blog from noted public relations consultant, Barbara Tabor, learn how the overwhelming amount of health care information available has led to an enormous opportunity for employers to step in and provide specific, actionable information that leads to consumers taking charge of their health and health care.

Welcome, New Members!

The Minnesota Health Action Group is growing! We are pleased to welcome new members from J.J. TaylorMidwest Spine InstituteMills Fleet Farm, and Minnesota Gastroenterology. Look for more new member announcements soon!

Doctors Stand Behind Educating Patients About Unnecessary Care

As a follow up to recent news that almost a quarter of the $64 billion in Medicare payments went to just two percent of 880,000 physicians, Star Tribune reporter D.J. Tice offers this consumer-friendly insight into how our health care system has evolved into one where people “seldom spend (or withhold) their own money in response to clear prices.” Tice likens asking the health care industry to drive down costs to expecting McDonald’s to take charge of cutting America’s hamburger costs.

New (and Free!) Video and Tools Provide Patient Safety “To-Dos”

Too often, health care teams do not have a complete picture of the symptoms, medicines, tests and treatments of their patients. When they don’t have the entire story, patient quality and safety often suffer. The Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS) offers new tools that put patients at the center of their health teams: You: Your Own Best Medicine.

collaborationMark Your Calendars: Upcoming Member Events

May 16, 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
2014 Health & Wellness Survey Results (participants only)

May 21, Noon-1 p.m.
Webinar: Closing the Gap in Obesity Management Solutions

June 3, 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m.  
Breakfast for New Members

Not yet a member? Click here to find out how to join the Minnesota Health Action Group!

News from the State Capitol: Legislature Acts on Claims Data Provisions

newsA few items of note from this week’s activity at the Legislature:

House File 2656, a bill that makes changes to the state’s use of the All Payer Claims Database that we have discussed in this space previously, was passed last Friday by the Senate and is on its way to Governor Dayton’s desk. The final legislative language can be found here.

Another issue that just recently caught the attention of the health care community is House File 2167, which makes clarifications to which contract data is considered public and subject to the requirements of the Data Practices Act. The bill, originally brought forward by Minnesota’s newspaper association, has drawn significant concerns from health plans and providers. Originally scheduled for floor action last week, the bill has been pulled back into committee for further debate. For the bill language, please see the link here.

Finally, as the legislative calendar draws closer to May, focus is increasingly on the supplemental budget bill and the capital bonding bill. Those conference committees will continue to meet and bargain over the next several weeks.

The Action Group continuously monitors developments at the Capitol, representing the collective voice of the people who write the checks for health care, ensuring that patients get the care they need at the right time, in the right place, for the right price.

Thought for the Week

“Just 12 percent of adults have ‘proficient health 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.”

National Assessment of Adult Literacy