April 2015 fyi

Important Dates for Action Group Members
Employer Leadership Summit: Renew, Refresh, Reinvigorate
Coming Soon: Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network Phase II
Help Wanted: NDPP Project Coordinator
NBCH 20th Annual Conference
2014 Health Care Disparities Report
April 16: National Health Care Decisions Day
Express Roundup: Top Stories from Our Weekly Newsletter

Don’t Miss Out! Add These Dates to Your Calendar:1421206367_checklist

  • April 17, 2015: Annual Employer Leadership Summit (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • May 21, 2015: All-Member Meeting: Summary of Phase I Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network
  • July 15, 2015: Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Recognition Event
  • November 16-18, 2015: National Business Coalition on Health 20th Annual Conference


 2015summiticon-01Join Us for the 8th Annual Employer Leadership Summit
Renew, Refresh, Reinvigorate: Putting the Best Ideas to Work

We hope you will join us for a full day of thought-provoking and inspiring presentations and conversations about successful strategies and breakthrough ideas. Featuring local and national thought leaders, interactive polling, networking, sponsored booths, and great food, it’s sure to be a rewarding experience.

Topics include specialty pharmacy challenges, the debate about employer-sponsored v. individual market health insurance, public v. private exchanges, employee health and wellness, and the Innovator’s Showcase. During the Employer Roundtable, four employers will discuss high-interest topics such as the Cadillac Tax, onsite clinics, wellness programs, and transparency tools. Click here to see the agenda.




April 17, 2015
8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Westin Edina Galleria
3201 Galleria
Edina, MN

Minnesota Health Action Group Members: $199
Non-members: $299

Special thanks to our Summit sponsors…

Specialty pharmacy has been called the “new gold rush” due to the large number of new drugs and the high demand for them, coupled with the fact that no one is responsible for holding drug makers accountable to rational pricing practices.

Coming Soon! Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network Phase II

The Action Group’s Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network kicked off last October. This topic was selected in response to the prediction that costs for specialty medications are projected to quadruple between 2012 and 20201 with over 900 new drugs in the pipeline.2

More organizations than ever before joined this Learning Network, including representatives from 3M; Best Buy; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Carlson Companies; HealthPartners; Hennepin County; Mills Fleet Farm; Minnesota Management & Budget – SEGIP & PEIP; Park Nicollet; SUPERVALU; Thrifty White; University of Minnesota; U.S. Bank; and Wells Fargo.

As the group neared the end of its key informant meetings, participants unanimously agreed that they had only scratched the surface of specialty pharmacy issues facing employers. As such, the Learning Network has been granted an extension of six months, with Purchaser’s Guides being divided into Phase I and Phase II. Phase I is the discovery phase; Phase II will focus on understanding what is and isn’t within the employers’ control, and where they can effectively collaborate to drive meaningful change in the marketplace.

“We are hoping that all Action Group employer members will choose to participate in Phase II,” says Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of The Action Group. “To influence change in the marketplace, purchasers must collaborate. That’s where the power lies.”

Even if you were not a part of Phase I, you are invited to join Phase II. We will be offering a Specialty Pharmacy Boot Camp to get you up to speed on everything we learned during Phase I. For more information, please contact Carolyn Pare (952-896-5185) or Linda Davis (952-484-7970).

1CVS Caremark Insights 2013

2Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Medicines in development: biologics.

Did You Know?Action Group members may post job openings in fyiand Express at no cost. Simply send your request to Sue Jesseman.

Help Wanted: NDPP Project Coordinator

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is contracting with the Minnesota Health Action Group to engage employers and insurers in four funded communities to make the National Diabetes Prevention Program a covered benefit for employees. To support us in this work, we are seeking a temporary, part-time Project Coordinator to create the employer section of the NDPP toolkit. Ideally, we’re looking for a graduate student pursuing a master of science in health communication, health care marketing, health care marketing communications, or similar field of study. Click here to see the full job description. Click here to see a guest blog by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Gretchen Taylor.

Annual Conference 2015 page rHRComplimentary Registration to NBCH 20th Annual Conference for Action Group Members

This year’s NBCH Annual Conference, Achieving Health Care Value: No Purchaser is an Island, will be held in Dallas, TX, November 16-18, 2015. Action Group employer members are welcome to register without a fee, which is normally $850 for non-members and $500 for members. Click here to learn more and to register.

disparitiesHealth Care Disparities Report 2014 Now Available

Low-income patients in Minnesota with diabetes and vascular disease had better control over their conditions in 2014 than the year before, according to the eighth annual Health Care Disparities Report released in March. Conducted by MN Community Measurement (MNCM) and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), the report evaluates care outcomes for patients enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) on 12 quality performance measures. Public reporting alone can’t drive improvements in care. Common measurement metrics tied to pay-for-performance and consumer information are also important. For example, The Action Group works closely with MNCM to drive quality improvement initiatives through Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE). DHS participates in the MNBTE reward system through the companion program, the Quality Incentive Payment System, paying rewards for optimal care for diabetes, vascular disease and, in 2015, depression.

nhddNational Health Care Decisions Day is April 16

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is set aside to remind all Americans about the importance of ensuring that their future health care choices are known and protected. Regardless of age or current health status, everyone is encouraged to complete an advance directive. NHDD will be observed in a number of ways in Minnesota. Click here to learn more, and to access free tools and resources you can use at your organization.



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