Better Together! The Action Group Unites Stakeholders to Accelerate Change in the Health Care Marketplace–Blog by Carolyn Pare

Review of 2018, Looking Ahead to 2019

Mental health care innovators from Air Healthcare, Happify, Joyable, and Lyra Healthcare presented new solutions for improving outcomes for the 4 in 10 U.S. adults who face mental health and/or substance use disorders during The Action Group’s year-end meeting. Meeting presentations are available through the Member Center on the homepage.

Even in an environment where politics and public debate are increasingly acrimonious, a very positive and encouraging message we repeatedly hear from our members and other friends of The Action Group is this: “I am optimistic that TOGETHER, we will be able to accelerate performance improvement in key areas of the health care system.”

With the busy-ness of life today, it’s easy to continue ramping up speed, forgetting to pause to acknowledge and thank those who have dedicated their careers to making benefits and the health care system better for their peers, co-workers — and all Minnesotans. Each December, we do just that. We come together to reflect on our progress, lay the groundwork for the coming year — and thank all of our trusted advisors and the dedicated health care, human resource and benefits professionals among us.

Action Group members and other stakeholders know from experience that we are able to accomplish more together than any of us can alone. There is strength in our collective voice and progress through our united action.


Highlights of 2018

Amplifying our voice. 
We are always pleased to see our coalition strengthened by an expanding member roster. In 2018, Allina Health | Aetna, Graco, Great River Energy, HealthFitness, Mortenson, Ottertail Corporation, PDR clinics, Thrivent Financial, and University of Minnesota Physicians became members. Membership growth helps amplify our voice in the marketplace, and fresh ideas and insights contribute to our ongoing revitalization.

Updated regularly, the member directory is available in The Action Group’s online Member Center from the homepage. To view the member roster, please click here.

Collaborating and innovating to accelerate improvements in health care quality and transparency.
Action Group members and other key stakeholders contribute to improving the health care system through a variety of initiatives.

Networking and learning together.
The following initiatives illustrate how members network and learn through The Action Group:

Concluding the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) grant.
While the number of new diabetes cases each year is stabilizing, the rate of prediabetes is rising at a troublesome rate. In fact, one in three American adults have prediabetes — and 90 percent of them don’t know it. But there’s good news, too. Losing just five to seven percent of body weight significantly reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s why we collaborated for four years with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to raise awareness about this looming public health crisis, and advance efforts to ensure the DPP is available as a covered benefit. Today, every Minnesota health plan offers the DPP, countless DPP lifestyle coaches have been trained, and a rapidly increasing number of Minnesota employers are offering access to local programs that have achieved full DPP recognition from the CDC.

Representing our members and the communities they serve.
Action Group staff continue to serve members and communities in unique ways. Whether within the state through the Minnesota Department of Health, MN Community Measurement, and the regional American Cancer Society, or nationally through the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions and the National Quality Forum we often speak, appear on panels, blog, and testify on behalf of members.

Looking Ahead to 2019

Our vision for 2019 involves:

I am gratified that we closed 2018 with a high level of achievement and are beginning the New Year with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. As Jane Goodall famously said, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role. Every individual makes a difference.” This gets to the heart and soul of The Action Group. Without the commitment of members, trusted advisors, thought leaders, colleagues and friends, we could not have accomplished all that we did to improve value of health care for all Minnesotans. May 2019 bring you joy, success and inspiration!

*Member meeting presentations are available exclusively to Action Group members.

Not yet a member, or a member wondering how to become more involved with The Action Group? Visit “Getting Involved,” and “Join Now” on our homepage. Or contact a staff or Board member!

Carolyn Pare is President and CEO of the Minnesota Health Action Group.