Important Dates for Action Group Members
Action Group Makes Headlines
Vacancies on the Task Force on Health Care Financing
Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide Available to Members
Members Invited: MN Bridges to Excellence Recognition Event
Action Group Hires NDPP Project Coordinator
Open Positions: BCBSMN; University of Minnesota
NBCH 20th Annual Conference: Free Registration for Our Members
At the State Capitol: Wrap-up
Express Roundup: Top Stories from Our Weekly Newsletter
Over the past several weeks, The Action Group has been gaining local and national attention for innovative approaches and thought-leadership in the areas of its Specialty Pharmacy Learning Network, its one-of-a-kind Annual Employer Benefits Survey, and medical tourism. The most recent events and media features can be found here.
Carolyn Pare, Action Group President and CEO .
Periodically, there are opportunities for Action Group members to become engaged in meaningful activities involving health care reform and the future of health care in our state. If you follow “At the Capitol” (see below) in this newsletter and in Express, you’ve heard about what’s happening – and now you can contribute to the outcomes.
Over the years, Action Group members from Best Buy, Carlson Companies, Land O’ Lakes, Target, and the University of Minnesota have served on health care reform committees covering topics from electronic health information exchange, to provider peer grouping. Members Karen Chapin, Jim Gottschald, and Nathan Moracco currently participate on the State Innovation Model project.
The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State last week released the June 2015 notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Among those, there are 25 vacancies on the Task Force on Health Care Financing. Applications are due by June 23, 2015.
Applications are available here; the full list of vacancies is available here.The monthly Notice of Vacancies is posted on the first Monday of every month and is provided by email to those who subscribe for the notice.
If you have questions about this opportunity, or would like help completing the application process, please contact Carolyn Pare, 952-896-5185.
Phase I of the Specialty Pharmacy Care Delivery Learning Network convened in October 2014, concluding with the Purchaser’s Guide release in late May. Even if you were not a paying participant in Phase I, the Specialty Pharmacy Purchaser’s Guide is now available to members through the Member Center at mnhealthactiongroup.org. If you’ve forgotten your login credentials, you will be prompted to request re-set instructions.
Breaking Specialty Pharmacy News PCSK9 Dilemma. FDA advisory panels this week recommended approving two drugs that may significantly lower cholesterol. But experts warn the potential high cost could limit their access and raise more concerns about skyrocketing prescription costs. In response to Specialty Pharmacy Learning Network participant requests, we will be offering guidance on how to manage the PCSK9 dilemma at our next meeting. We will be helping participating Learning Network employers plan for the management of these very specific cholesterol management drugs before prescribing begins.
Direct Rx Marketing to Docs. John Oliver discusses the growing issues related to pharmaceutical companies marketing directly to and through doctors in this funny, fascinating, fact-based (and off-color) video, posted to our homepage.
The Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) program advances both care delivery and outcomes by rewarding clinics for meeting or exceeding a strict set of care standards for patients with diabetes, depression, and vascular disease. These conditions are known to be primary drivers of health care costs. Each year, we host a cocktail reception to celebrate the successes of those clinics providing superior care.
“All Action Group members are invited and encouraged to attend, even if they do not participate in MNBTE,” says Kris Soegaard, COO of The Action Group. “This is one of my favorite events of the year because it’s all about celebrating the success of clinical teams that are committed to improving care for patients.”
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is contracting with the Minnesota Health Action Group to engage employers and insurers in four funded communities to help them build and create tools to prevent diabetes, optimizing the success of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
The Action Group will assist selected communities in approaching employers about the benefits of offering the NDPP as a covered benefit. This includes training on how to talk to employees about diabetes prevention, developing tools and resources for employers, and assisting community grantees in creating an action plan for employer engagement.
To support us in this work, we have hired a part-time Project Coordinator, Nayila Yaro. Nayila is a Business Law and Business Communications (BBA) graduate from the University of St. Thomas, and a recent UST MBA graduate, with emphases in Organizational Development and Change Management.
“I am very excited to contribute to diabetes prevention initiatives throughout Minnesota,” says Nayila. “With proper education, consistent awareness, and behavior change, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. We need to help those at risk become proactive about this chronic and costly disease.”
Click here to see a guest blog about this project by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Gretchen Taylor.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Blue Cross is seeking a senior benefits analyst who will be responsible for the design of cost-effective financial benefit plans, programs and policies to drive attraction and retention of employees and executives in support of Blue Cross’ strategic plan. This position also ensures plan compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. Click here to see the full job description.
University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota manages its own self-insured health care program for employees and dependents and is currently seeking a financial professional with experience in health programs to act as the primary resource on all financial aspects of the University’s benefits programs. Additional analytic experience in the areas of general business, human resources, and HRMS (PeopleSoft preferred) is a strong consideration. Click here and search for Job ID 300203 to see the full job description.
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.
In case you missed the wrap-up from the May 27, 2015, Express newsletter, Governor Dayton signed Senate File 1458, the Health and Human Services omnibus bill, on May 22. Below you will find a list of the provisions included that are of interest to Action Group members, along with line numbers showing where you can find those sections in the full bill, found here.