Taking Action Express: Summit Sizzles; POPS! is Tops!; MN Leads the Way…Again…

MAY 23, 2017

 Summit Sparks Renewed Hope for Health Care Affordability  

 This year’s sold-out Annual Employer Leadership Summit sizzled with excitement as local and national thought leaders explored cutting-edge approaches for working together to bring affordable back into health care. 


Transitioning our health care system from one that is expensive and inequitable to one that is affordable and equitable is as “simple” as keeping people healthy and providing consistent, coordinated and outstanding patient care. Whether the Summit topic was about making reform a reality, eliminating no- and low-value care, measuring value, or preventing and treating chronic and serious conditions, this was the pervading message at Friday’s sold-out Annual Employer Leadership Summit.

For photos, presentations and Summit highlights, click here.

“Guiding Coalition members are working together, putting a stop to the blame game surrounding the high cost of specialty drugs, and elevating the discussion to finding real solutions that work for all.” 

 Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO

POPS! Diabetes Care Wins Innovator’s Showcase

POPS! Diabetes Care emerged as the top innovator at The Action Group’s Annual Employer Leadership Summit this past Friday. Their mobile system offers a more portable, simpler, less painful, and more liberating way for people with diabetes to manage their condition.

Other innovators amazed attendees with their creative new technologies:

  • alska: Offering creative solutions for caregivers
  • Iris Plans: Helping navigate complex and difficult health care solutions
  • Orderly Health: Empowering patients to make the best health care decisions
  • Telespine: Reducing the medical costs of low back pain through digital health


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

All Payer Claims Database: A Valuable Community Asset

The All Payer Claims Database (APCD) holds great promise for expanding health care coverage, reducing costs, and improving the quality of care in Minnesota. To support this monumental effort, The Action Group is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to define a value proposition for employer use of the APCD.

Leading Minnesota employers — and Action Group members — have participated in key informant interviews and focus groups, and are guiding the development of proposed reports to deliver on that promise. We will keep you informed about the employer value proposition.

Employers Can Help Transform Mental Health Care

This new article from Entrepreneur showcases eight companies taking action to support mental health in the workplace, including Action Group member HealthPartners, whose Regions Hospital hosts the largest space in Minnesota dedicated to making it easier for employees to relax, restore and renew.

As we become more skilled at helping people face mental health challenges in the workplace, we enable organizations to thrive. 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.

  • The Action Group hosted a May webinar, Mental Health: First Aid at Work, which is available for replay until May 29, 2017. To view after this date, please contact Sue Jesseman (sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org). For more about the featured evidence-based, skills-based training, click here.
  • StigmaFree Company is the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) partnership initiative to challenge, highlight and cultivate a company culture of caring and enhanced engagement around mental health. Learn more about creating stigma-free workplaces.
  • Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota and a key informant in the first Learning Network meeting, shares her wealth of knowledge and free resources employers can use right away in a new blog on the Action Group’s website.

Knowing What Patients Want; Seeing They Get It

“For years the medical profession has largely fumbled the question of what we should do when there’s nothing more we can do. A new wave of research sheds light on what patients want at the end of life, and who is – or isn’t – getting it.”

Dhruv Khullar in an editorial appearing in the May 15, 2017, Star Tribune. 

Employers gain a unique opportunity to support employees and their family members by providing advance care planning (ACP) resources to ensure final wishes are well understood and honored.

“We made a commitment at last year’s Summit to work with employers to make outstanding tools and resources available to ease the way to having what can be difficult conversations about end-of-life care,” says Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO. “We are fortunate to have so many innovators in Minnesota who make it possible to honor the last wishes of patients.”

Medicare spending for patients in the last year of life is six times what it is for other patients, and accounts for a quarter of the total budget.”  

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 

“People are coming out of school profoundly unprepared to live healthy lives.”

Helen Darling,
Strategic Advisor on Health Benefits and Health Care, featured speaker at the 2017 Minnesota Health Action Group Annual Employer Leadership Summit


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