Tag Archives: health care quality

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Confucian Philosopher, Xunzi

Carolyn Pare
Minnesota Health Action Group President and CEO

There are many ways to become involved in game-changing initiatives at The Action Group. As a member-led coalition, rather than an association, it provides the perfect opportunity for like-minded employers to join forces and roll up their sleeves to improve health care and ensure the economic vitality of Minnesota communities.

Here are just a few examples of what we have been able to accomplish with the involvement of our members:

  • 400% improvement in health outcomes for patients with diabetes since 2006 launch.
  • 81% increase in the number of clinics rewarded for achievement in treating depression over the previous year.
  • ROI for MN Bridges to Excellence in 2013, based on each purchaser’s number of patients with diabetes care at optimal levels, ranged from $12.71 to $28.17.

In 2014, we’re going to make it easier than ever for you to participate in meetings through webinars, webcasts, and meetings-on-demand. We’re developing a number of customizable employee education modules. And you will be invited to collaborate with your peers in addressing the seismic shifts in the health care marketplace that are bearing down on us.

Through initiatives like the Minnesota Employer Benchmarking Survey, Minnesota Bridges to Excellence, Choosing Wisely, and Payment Reform, we are able to do together what none of us would be able to do alone.

What people are saying about The Action Group:

  • Paul Berrisford, CEO of Entire Family Clinics credits The Action Group with improving quality and transforming care delivery.
  • Jennifer Lundblad and Cathy Weik credit The Action Group with working to create transparency in the marketplace by mining and analyzing data that enables employers and consumers to become more engaged and to make smart decisions about cost, care and quality.
  • Charlie Montreuil credits The Action Group with helping drive accountability among hospitals to improve patient safety by ensuring that every year hospital systems and health plans report so-called “never” mistakes.
  • Nathan Moracco credits The Action Group with creating a unique forum for sharing best practices and ideas regularly, in person, within a collaborative environment. 

Leading with The Action Group in 2014 by Carolyn Pare

We had such a great member meeting on December 17, I wanted to follow up with a brief summary and a copy of the presentation and resource links for those of you who were not able to attend. Members and staff gathered to review the highlights and accomplishments of 2013, and to imagine the possibilities for 2014.

  • Robert Wood Johnson Payment Reform Workshop
        • Assess cost and quality targets (higher spending ≠ better care)
        • Accelerate payment reform initiatives
  • Minnesota Bridges to Excellence
    • Examples of performance improvements
      • 400% improvement in health outcomes for patients with diabetes since 2006 launch
      • 81% increase in the number of clinics rewarded for achievement in treating depression over the previous year
    • Return on investment
      • ROI for MNBTE purchasers for 2013, based on each purchaser’s number of patients with diabetes care at optimal levels, ranged from $12.71 to $28.17.
  • Care Delivery Learning Network: Deep dive into overuse, high cost, and variability for:
  • Annual Employer Health Care Benefits Survey
    • Each employer would have to pay a consultant upwards of $40,000 to conduct a similar survey (included in the price of Action Group membership)
    • Content includes participant views on everything from plan costs and contributions, to health plan strategy and benefits, to evaluation of Minnesota networks and administrators, to health improvement solutions
  • Choosing Wisely®
    • The Action Group was one of the first named Community Communications Partners in the country
    • The “Minnesota Eleven” (aimed at reducing unnecessary medical tests and procedures)
    • Choosing Wisely Employer Toolkit to help you educate employees about protecting their health

2014 Preview

I invite each of you to join us at our 2014 meetings. We bring together employers, providers, health plans, and interested stakeholders to share perspectives, knowledge and best practice ideas.


Measuring Health Care Quality is Confusing by Carolyn Pare

My last blog was spurred by the release of the Leapfrog Group’s fall update to Hospital Safety Scores. Whenever new data is released, it is inevitably dissected and debated, mostly by health care industry insiders who have all hitched their wagon to one quality measurement organization or another.

At The Action Group, we make the various reports available to members to raise awareness about the very real and very serious hospital quality and safety issues confronting each and every patient. We do our best to distill and present the information in ways that are helpful and understandable.

Still, this lead-in to a recent article caught my attention: “We need to measure the hell out of healthcare to help us compare one organization or system with others. I believe measuring quality helps healthcare systems improve. But I also believe that we can measure healthcare quality a lot better than we do.”

I could not agree more with author Cheryl Clark’s assertion that we are missing the boat in making the numerous evaluations “meaningful to leaders, to providers, to patients, and to the public.” In the admirable quest to improve care quality, multiple and redundant reports are a huge turn-off to the uninitiated. When people don’t know what matters, nothing matters.

Depending on who you believe, anywhere from 100,000 to as many as 330,000 Americans are dying annually from preventable hospital errors. I think we can all agree that it doesn’t really matter which quality measurement organization is most provocative. What matters is that we do our part in contributing to improving the system — and to educating and informing consumers about the risks and how to lower them.

With so many rating systems and so many data imperfections, what are we to do? My recommendation is to stay tuned in to what your fellow members are doing to raise awareness about hospital quality and safety issues, and to take advantage of Action Group peer-to-peer collaboration opportunities and resources. Share your experiences with us, so we all can learn from your successes and challenges.

Learn more about these Action Group initiatives that promote quality and safety: