Taking Action Express: NEW blog: Survey Says! Solving the Transparency Problem; Voluntary Benefits Setback; Plentiful, Free Data for Employers…and More!


NEW BLOG! The Value of Action Group Membership

Why do members engage with The Action Group? How do they engage? What do they find most valuable? These and many more questions were developed by the Action Group Board for a survey designed to ensure we are meeting and exceeding member expectations.

“I am inspired by the strength of members’ shared beliefs and we will align our strategy accordingly,” says Deidre Serum, Action Group Board member and senior director of benefits for Best Buy. “We also uncovered opportunities to better communicate the unique nature of our coalition to potential members.”

To view Deidre’s new blog about the member survey, please click here.

September Member Meeting Addresses Employee Well-being

Today’s employees are working more hours, taking less time off, exercising less, and feeling more stressed than ever before, prompting more than 85 percent of employers to implement wellness programs. But less than one in five believe their programs are effective at reducing health care costs, improving performance and productivity, or enhancing employee engagement, attraction or loyalty.

At our September 21, 2017, member meeting, we will facilitate the sharing of ideas about what works, and discuss how we can individually and collectively advance employee well-being. To RSVP or to view the meeting details, click here.

Not yet a member, but considering membership? Please join us at a member meeting by contacting Sue Jesseman for a complimentary meeting pass!

Interested in the latest from the Gallup Sharecare Well-being Index? Learn more and download reports on a wide variety of well-being topics here.

“Voluntary” Workplace Wellness Programs Dealt Setback by U.S. Court

A federal court on August 22 threw out a rule allowing employers to call their workplace wellness programs “voluntary” when employees stand to lose thousands of dollars for not participating — a win for groups that challenged what they argue are coercive programs that have not been shown to improve employee health. Read the full article here. 

Innovation Update: Specialty Drug Guiding Coalition

When it comes to specialty drug affordability and access challenges, the blame game is alive and well. But over 40 Specialty Drug Guiding Coalition members from more than 20 organizations have been working together since February, putting a stop to the blame game, and elevating the discussion to find solutions that work for all.

As one coalition member said, “We’re sharing our ideas and expertise — essentially our secret sauce — which is only possible because of a real feeling of camaraderie and trust, and a commitment to making things better.”
Our Innovation Update with more details about 2017 and 2018 goals will be available mid-September.

Pharmacy Industry News:
  • “The price of PCSK9 inhibitors would need to be reduced by more than two-thirds for to meet generally accepted cost-effectiveness thresholds…” (JAMA Network, August 22/29, 2017)
  • Health Care Spending Spikes Due to Improper Diabetes Drug Adherence (Specialty Pharmacy Times, August 31, 2017)

Advancing Health Care Transparency Initiatives

The Action Group has long subscribed to the idea that it takes ready access to meaningful cost and quality information to build a health care system that pays for quality and outcomes, instead of more services that do not lead to better health. Patients, employers, health plans — and even providers — have too little information about the relative cost and quality of health care services.

That’s why The Action Group is committed to advancing health care transparency in Minnesota and across the nation.

Related and Interesting:

“The push to bring transparency to health care pricing and quality has been going on for years, but still the industry undoubtedly remains one of the nation’s most opaque. The scarcity of price and and quality information is often blamed on the high cost of care.” (From Modern Healthcare’s Special Report: Is the Price Right? Solving Healthcare’s Transparency Problem)

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

  • 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:


“If you don’t know the price of the (health care) service that you are buying before you buy it, and you don’t have the ability to compare that to others and determine the value of that purchase, then how is that a functional market? It’s completely dysfunctional.”
Francois de Brantes, Vice President and Director,  Center for Payment Innovation, Altarum Institute

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