Taking Action Express: NEW MNBTE Photo Gallery; Linking Mental and Physical Health; 86M with Prediabetes…and More!


AUGUST 2, 2017

Celebrating Success with 2017 MNBTE Reward Recipients

This year’s Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) recognition reception on July 27, 2017, featured inspiring speeches, deserving award winners, and great food and fun. The photo gallery can be viewed here.

“All of our MNBTE award recipients have made significant contributions to improving care for countless patients with chronic health conditions, delivering outcomes, and reducing costs,” says Deb Krause, Action Group vice president. “We consistently hear from all stakeholders that the rewards and recognition are a unique and powerful signal, inspiring quality and transformation in care delivery. We at The Action Group are sincerely grateful to everyone involved with the program over the past dozen years.”

While this is the final year of MNBTE as we know it, the reception was abuzz with ideas for taking the pay-for-performance concept to the next level in Minnesota and beyond.

Governor Mark Dayton even declared the day to be “Minnesota Excellence in Health Care Day.” See his Proclamation here.

A Special Edition of Taking Action Express has been created to commemorate the event.

Depression Among Heart Attack Survivors Can be Deadly        

Action Group Mental Health Learning Network members are identifying opportunities to improve access to care, and to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness.

One in five patients hospitalized for heart attack or chest pain develop major depression — about four times the rate in the general population, according to the American Heart Association.

And heart disease patients who become depressed are twice as likely to die within the following decade as other patients, according to an unpublished study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting.

“One of the key findings in our Mental Health Learning Network is that to improve overall health, we must address mental health,” says Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO. “Recent news stating that depression increases the risk of death to cardiac patients even more than smoking is alarming, and we are helping employers understand and address the links between behavioral and physical health.”

For more information:

July Member Meeting Reveals the Power of Data

Action Group members and guests gathered July 26 to learn about how the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database (MN APCD) is helping create a system of greater provider cost and quality transparency.

In ongoing efforts to reduce low-value care in Minnesota, Action Group members have been participating in MN APCD focus groups and key informant meetings to guide the development of proposed reports to deliver on goals for expanding health care coverage, reducing costs, and improving quality of care.

“We have been working hard with The Action Group to determine what really matters to employers, which analytic tools are of highest priority, and how to make the data of most value to purchasers of health care services,” says Stefan Gildemeister, state health economist and director, Health Economics Program, Minnesota Department of Health. “The participant feedback has been invaluable.”

To view the MN ACPD Fact Sheet, please click here. Members may access presentations from the meeting by logging into the Member Center from The Action Group’s homepage.

Employers and Insurers Can Help Stop Diabetes in its Tracks

Did you know that one in three American adults — or about 86 million people — have prediabetes, and 90 percent of them don’t know it? Without intervention, up to 30 percent in this group will develop type 2 diabetes within five years, leading to significant cost and quality of life challenges.

The Minnesota Department of Health is collaborating with The Action Group to engage employers and insurers statewide to make the National Diabetes Prevention Program a covered benefit for employees. This proven lifestyle change program can cut the risk of diabetes in half. To view and use the Centers for Disease Controls’ newly updated Diabetes Prevention Impact Toolkit, designed for states, employers, and insurers, please click here.

August Choosing Wisely Employee Communications

High-value, turnkey, timely (and free!) employee communications to improve patient/provider conversations and reduce health care system waste are available from Consumer Reports and The Action Group. We have collaborated to develop a monthly campaign for Minnesota employers. 

With August being prime time for many allergy sufferers, new content focuses on the pros and cons of allergy testing, and includes practical self-help recommendations. Click here to view this, and all of The Action Group’s Choosing Wisely toolkit content.

Action Group members automatically receive monthly reminders to use specific Choosing Wisely content. To add other colleagues, simply click on the link  below.Action Group members have access to the entire 12 months of content by logging into the Member Center on the homepage.

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:


“The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there.”
Jean Baptiste Moliere

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