August 1, 2018
National Alliance Needs Employer Input on Health Care Waste
Survey Closes Friday, August 3!
The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions is working with Benfield-Gallagher to conduct a national survey to take the pulse of employers' perceptions and actions related to waste in the health care system. The survey takes just 7-10 minutes to complete, and an aggregate findings report will be provided to all participants if at least 20 employers per state respond.   
"Survey results will inform the strategic planning the National Alliance and business health coalition members like the Minnesota Health Action Group are currently conducting," says Mike Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance. "We know that driving waste from the health care system is a business imperative, and this survey will accelerate action to this end."

To learn more about how National Alliance members are driving innovation, health and value nationwide, click  here  for the new 2018 Update. Action Group members also receive generous discounts for National Alliance events. Please see Public M eetings and Events below for details! 
Click on the image to view the National Alliance 2018 Update
Mental Health First Aid Saves Lives
People with mental health and substance use challenges can and do recover when they have access to appropriate care and ongoing support. This was the key message heard by Action Group members and staff who were given a unique opportunity July 18 to participate in a new wave of first aid training rapidly sweeping the world, Mental Health First Aid at Work .     

Mental health first aid has the power to save lives when "First Aiders" learn to notice and support coworkers who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis and connect them with employee resources, advises trainer Donna DeWan.

To learn more, please contact Action Group Vice President, Deb Krause ( Action Group members also have access to an Action Group-exclusive guide for advancing mental health in the workplace by logging into the Member Center from the homepage .
Health Care Costs: Moving from Opacity to Transparency
Price transparency is an essential component of a value-based, rational health care marketplace. Yet, for many reasons it remains elusive. 
Action Group members are invited to join an August 14 webinar from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. to hear our panel of experts share their perspectives on variable prices for common health care procedures in Minnesota, and what employer health care coalitions nationally are doing to better understand the marketplace and push for greater price transparency
This webinar builds on our June member meeting where Action Group members heard market insights from  Allan Baumgarten , renowned analyst and health care consultant. As Allan shared, Minnesota health plans reported profits of $810M in 2017. Twin Cities hospital systems also reported profits of $444M in 2016 (most recently available information).

First Action Group Member Book Club to Meet Sept. 18
Join us for Coffee and Conversation!
During our September 18 meeting, Action Group members are invited to engage in a lively roundtable discussion of the highly regarded book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. It is a  New York Times  bestseller, Washington Post  Notable Book of 2017, NPR Best Books of 2017, and Wall Street Journal  Best Books of 2017. 

The first 10 Action Group members to register for the meeting will receive a complimentary copy of the book. Register now and watch your email to see if you are a winner. Others are encouraged to purchase the book directly from their favorite local bookstore or online source. Interested in a quick preview from the author? Click here .

If you have a friend or colleague who is considering Action Group membership, please contact Sue Jesseman ( for a complimentary meeting pass!  
Specialty Drug Update: "Unacceptable" Tactics Stall Biologic Competitors
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb last week accused drug makers who manufacture pricey biologic medicines of using "unacceptable" and anti-competitive tactics to keep competitors off the market, costing Americans billions.

The tactics have prevented other drug makers from launching biosimilar medicines , highly similar versions of the same drugs. "Some of these tactics should be unacceptable to every member of the drug supply chain," Gottlieb says in this recent article from STAT.

To learn more about The Action Group's Specialty Drug Guiding Coalition and how members are working together to address the high cost of specialty drugs, click here .
Stay connected and learn about key health care issues facing employers today! Action Group member meetings feature topics selected by our members. We also post public meetings and events of interest.
Member Meetings:

In-person meetings begin with networking at 8 a.m., and conclude at 10 a.m. All are held at the Hilton Airport/MOA, 3800 American Boulevard East, Bloomington; webinars are held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Members who miss a meeting or are interested in viewing the slides may log into the Member Center from the  homepage   and select Member Meeting Presentations.  

Actively considering membership and want to experience a meeting or webinar? We hope you will join us! Please contact Sue Jesseman ( for a complimentary pass!

Public Meetings and Events:      
Hennepin County is Hiring!
Hennepin County Human Resources is seeking a benefits manager to plan and direct the design, implementation, communication and administration of employee benefit programs exceeding $200 million in annual expenditures. 
The HR Department provides a range of comprehensive services for more than 9,000 employees in 30 departments, including benefits, employee wellness, business partners, staffing, workforce development, classification, compensation, learning and development, and organizational development. To learn more or to apply, please click  here

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention...A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words."

Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine