Taking Action Express: Bipartisan health care solution; Study adds fuel to fiery RX pricing debate; C-sections still dangerously common; Must-attend events!

MARCH 21, 2017

Summit Keynote Speaker, Andy Slavitt, in the News

Over a storied career spanning public and private sectors — most recently as Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under President Obama — Andy Slavitt has shaped many significant and successful health care initiatives impacting millions of Americans. He has also been recognized as one of the 10 most influential people in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine. Andy’s keynote at this year’s Action Group Annual Employer Leadership Summit will provide insights and vision for Minnesota’s position as a health care leader. This Washington Post article features his insights into what a bipartisan health care solution will entail.

The Action Group will be welcoming Andy and a host of other health care and benefits thought leaders at the Employer Leadership Summit on May 19: The Time is NOW: Putting Affordable Back into Health Care. You may click on the image above to view the day’s lineup. We hope you will join us!


Don’t Miss Out! Add These to Your Calendar:

Member Only Meetings:

  • April 27, 2017, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: Empowering Employees to be Consumers
  • July 26, 2017: Health Care Data as a Community Asset in Minnesota (All Payer Claims Database)
  • September 21, 2017: Employee Well-being: A Business Imperative
  • November 16, 2017: Best Practices for Addressing Cancer in the Workplace
  • December 15, 2017: Highlights of the Mental Health Learning Network, plus 2017 Review and 2018 Preview

Public Meetings and Events:

Please click here to view all 2017 events and member meetings.

New Study Adds Fuel to Fiery U.S. Drug Pricing Debate

“Sure to add fuel to the fiery U.S. drug pricing debate, new work from several health policy experts showed that pharma makes more from platinum pricing in the U.S. than it spends on research around the world,” according to this new article from FiercePharma.

The study found a 59 percent spread between the average prices for the world’s 20 top-selling meds in other developed countries and those in the U.S. In other words, a drug that costs $41 in other countries costs $100 in the U.S.

The Action Group has convened a Guiding Coalition comprised of representatives from health plans, provider organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, specialty pharmacies, and manufacturers to determine specific action items, deliverables, and a timeline to effect change in Minnesota and nationally. Updates will be provided here.

Our work goes beyond blaming others for the high cost of specialty drugs. Specialty Pharmacy Guiding Coalition members want to find collaborative solutions.


Wildly Varying C-section Rates Persist; Employers can Help

C-section rates continue to “vary wildly” across U.S. hospitals. In fact, rates varied at least tenfold across 593 hospitals, from 7.1% to 69.9%, according to Health Affairs. This troubling and persistent trend is explored in a new Modern Healthcare article featuring Dr. Katy Kozhimannil from the University of Minnesota, who served as a key informant to The Action Group’s Maternity and Infertility Learning Network. The Leapfrog Group also just released a report, saying, “Unnecessary C-sections are dangerously common.” Employers play an important role in providing education to employees in an effort to improve health for mothers and babies, while reducing costs by decreasing unnecessary C-sections.

For more information:

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Employers Uniquely Positioned to Break Down Barriers

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. There is a national effort to raise colon cancer screening rates to 80% by 2018. While health care providers and individuals play the largest role in improving screening rates, there is also an important role for employers. Read about it in this new blog from Deb Krause, Action Group vice president. You will find many free and helpful resources for raising awareness in the workplace.

February Member Meeting Recap: Care Coordination  

There was a large turnout for the February Action Group member meeting: Care Coordination: Holy Grail, or Within Reach? Beginning with the health plan perspective, three employers followed with case studies about how their leading organizations are innovating to ensure care is coordinated so patients receive safe, appropriate and effective care. Attendees learned how they can focus on practical solutions to drive marketplace transformation. Members may access the entire presentation through the member center on The Action Group’s homepage. Not yet an Action Group member, but want to learn more about the many benefits of membership? Please click here.

Related and Interesting:

Employer Benefits Survey Results Meeting: March 30

The Action Group’s Employer Benefits Survey is unique to Minnesota and identifies what is and isn’t working, satisfaction with Minnesota-based health care companies, and where employers are going with future benefit decisions. Last year, 100% of of the people who attended agreed: “I’d recommend that peers attend this meeting.”

We are pleased to report that 85 Minnesota employers responded, representing millions of lives, enabling us to provide new breakouts of the data. We’ll also learn more about employer attitudes toward repeal and replacement of the ACA, and how organizations are coping with today’s marketplace uncertainty.

On March 30, those who participated in the Survey will be meeting to discuss the findings. If you participated but have not received an invitation, please RSVP to Sue Jesseman (sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org).

April National Alliance Summits: Mental Health; Well-being

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions’ Summits on mental health and well-being will be held April 25 and 26 in Denver, CO. Aside from offering exceptional learning and networking opportunities, Action Group employer members save $200 on registration through our National Alliance membership! Click here to learn more and to register.

April Member Meeting: Empowering Employees to be Health Care Consumers

There are more employee engagement and communication tools and resources than ever before, yet most are delivered with a “one-size-fits-all” approach, causing a fragmented experience.

Please join us for The Action Group’s April member meeting, where we’ll hear from a number of members who are taking the guesswork out of effectively reaching employees with key messages.

We’re also bringing back the popular “Table Talk” to give you an opportunity to hear from others, ask questions, share experiences, and engage in discussion.

April 27, 2017
8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
(Networking begins at 7:30)

Hilton Airport/MOA Hotel
3800 American Boulevard E.
Bloomington, MN

Please RSVP to Sue Jesseman

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Steve Jobs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.