Taking Action Express: Celebrating Success; Dumping Waste; Dealing with Specialty Drugs…and More!

JUNE 20, 2017

Celebrating Health Care that Works in Minnesota!

To honor clinics and Minnesota medical groups that are closing health care quality gaps, The Action Group and the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Champions of Change will host a recognition reception, where complimentary light hors d’ouevres and cocktails will be served.

Recognized clinics qualified for incentive payments by meeting performance criteria for either achievement or improvement by delivering optimal care to their patients with diabetes, vascular disease, and/or depression.

Because this will be the final event for the MNBTE program as we have known it, we will recognize the 2017 reward recipients, celebrate the success of the program since its inception, and toast all of the clinics that have been rewarded in the course of the past dozen years. Official notification of 2017 recognized clinics will be sent in late June. Lists of rewarded clinics from previous years are posted to our website.

Clinicians, health plans, health systems, quality improvement organizations, employers/ purchasers, as well as other community stakeholders are encouraged to join us for this celebratory event. We hope to see you there!

Date:  Thursday, July 27, 2017
Time:  5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (recognition program begins at 6:15 p.m.)
Location:  Hilton Airport/MOA Hotel, 3800 American Boulevard E., Bloomington, MN
Complimentary cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres will be served  

Special thanks to our 2017 Champions of Change …
  • Best Buy
  • Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative
  • State of Minnesota-State Employee Group Insurance Plan
  • University of Minnesota
  • Wells Fargo
… and generous sponsors who help make this event possible:

Improving Overall Health by Addressing Mental Health

Of the 44 million Americans living with mental illness, 60 percent receive no treatment in a given year.

Action Group Mental Health Learning Network members are identifying opportunities to improve access to quality care, and helping reduce the stigma that often accompanies mental illness. They recommend the following resources for employers:

Needless Medical Tests Drain the System, Can Cause Harm

Experts estimate that $200-$800 billion is wasted annually on excessive health care testing and treatment. This overly aggressive care also can harm patients, generating mistakes and injuries believed to cause 30,000 deaths each year. (See “Putting a Lid on Waste…” from Kaiser Health News.)

The State of Minnesota recently released an analysis of low-value services in Minnesota. This issue brief used the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database (MN APCD), a comprehensive community data asset that includes public and private insurance claims for nearly all Minnesotans.

Our next member meeting on July 26 will focus on how employers can optimize use of a valuable community asset: Health care data. Non-members may also attend by contacting Sue Jesseman for a complimentary pass.

Member Only Meetings:
Not yet a member and see something of interest? Contact us for a complimentary meeting pass (excludes Summit):
Public Meetings and Events:

Join the Movement! Let’s Create a Better Health Care System

The Action Group is growing and welcoming newcomers to become part of our movement to build a better health care system. Action Group members draw strength from our collective voice, and make real progress through our united efforts. Learn more about us through our new overview, attend a meeting as our guest, talk to members or board members, or contact Deb Krause.


Choosing Wisely Employee Communications Available  

Complimentary July Choosing Wisely employee communications from the Minnesota Health Action Group and Consumer Reports are ready and available to members and non-members!

And just in time for summer’s weekend warriors and gardening enthusiasts, content focuses on the best care for lower-back pain, helping you share with employees how to better understand when imaging tests are a good idea, and when they just add cost and risk. A lower-back pain self-care guide is also included.

Click here to view this, and January-July Action Group Choosing Wisely toolkit content (click on “2017 Minnesota Campaign” in the left-hand column). To receive monthly reminders to use timely Choosing Wisely content, click on the link below and you will be added to the subscriber list.

Action Group members have access to the entire 12 months of content by logging into the Member Center on the homepage.

National, Local Coalitions Unite to Address Specialty Rx Crisis

One of the key sessions during the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Annual Conference in November will be “Emerging Trends/Effective Strategies for Managing Specialty Drugs.” Featured will be a new vision to align the private sector for a high-value specialty drug marketplace. Minnesota employers and The Action Group played a key role in developing the framework, in collaboration with the National Alliance and several other purchaser-led member coalitions.

Find the full details of the national initiative here.

New articles of note: 
  • Value-based Contracts Key to Solving U.S. Drug ‘Crisis’ (Modern Healthcare, June 9, 2017)
  • Trends and Challenges in Specialty Drugs (Drug Channels, June 9, 2017)
  • The Drug Industry’s Irresponsible Price Hikes (Modern Healthcare, June 10, 2017)
  • Follow the Money: Flow of Funds in the Pharmaceutical Distribution System (Health Affairs Blog, June 13, 2017)


“The co-occurrence of chronic illness and depression is really striking. If somebody is diagnosed with a chronic illness, they are twice as likely to have a behavioral health illness. But it’s true the other way around; someone with a mental health diagnosis is more likely to have a chronic illness.”
Dr. Alexander Blount, professor of clinical psychology, Antioch University, New England

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