February 21, 2018
Carolyn Pare Speaks Out About Disruptive Health Care 

Disruptive health care solutions have dominated the headlines in February, and Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO has been called upon by the  StarTribune  to comment on the employer perspective: 

Still Time to Participate! Annual Employer Benefits Survey

The Action Group invites all Minnesota employers to take the Annual Employer Benefits Survey by visiting actiongroupsurvey.com.

"The Action Group's Annual Employer Benefits Survey provides us with valuable intel on what's happening in the Minnesota marketplace," says Deidre Serum, Sr. director of employee benefits at Best Buy. "The results help each participating organization understand current trends in employer benefits, including what is happening today and beyond the horizon. Beyond the data, it unites employers in strategic conversation regarding the quest for affordable, high-quality health care benefits. We've already completed the Survey, and I encourage other employers to join us!" 
Mark your calendar with these key dates:
February 5-February 23, 2018: 
Survey is open  
March 29, 2018: 
Final report distributed at Survey results meeting (for participants only -- members and non-members may participate)  
Final report mailed to participants unable to attend the results meeting
Join Us for the Annual Employer Leadership Summit!

This event typically sells out, so register at early bird rates today!

Innovative ideas. A deep dive into pressing trends. Unparalleled opportunities to connect. All this and much, much more power the agenda for this  year's Annual Employer Leadership Summit: "A NEW LENS: Purpose-Driven Solutions for Optimal Health!" 
We will:
  • Explore the role of purpose in shaping vibrant, high-performing, and HEALTHY organizations.
  • Tackle critical issues, including the alarming rate of obesity and the opioid epidemic.
  • Showcase breakthrough innovations and demonstrated results.
  • Feature fun and informative interactive polling.
  • Ensure robust networking opportunities.
  • Offer all-day access to engaging sponsors with forward-thinking answers to pressing health care questions.
Click  here  to learn more, or on the button below to register. 
Early bird rates are in effect until March 30 and enable you to save $100. The Summit is open to all (not just members). Feel free to share the information and invite a peer.

Meet Your Keynote!
We're thrilled that Monica C. Worline, Ph.D., will kick things off this year with her keynote, "A Fresh Perspective on Health Organizations!" Dr. Worline 
is founder and CEO of EnlivenWork, a social benefit partner of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. This innovation organization teaches businesses how to tap into courageous thinking, compassionate leadership, and curiosity to bring their best work to life. 
Worline is also a research scientist at Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education; Executive Director of CompassionLab, the world's leading research "collaboratory" focused on compassion in the workplace; and co-author of Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations. 
Expand Your Network and Knowledge!
A member poll about meeting topics of interest is complete, and your input will shape 2018 content. Meeting dates can be found below, and topics will be announced soon. We hope you will set time aside to join these meetings, taking advantage of the opportunity to network, learn and share best practices.  
Member Meetings:

Members spoke. We listened! Meetings will begin later this year, with networking at 8 a.m., meetings beginning at 8:30 a.m., and concluding at 10 a.m. All will continue to be held at the Hilton Airport/MOA, 3800 American Boulevard East, Bloomington.  
  • April 24, 2018: ACOs: Accelerating Value!
  • June 21, 2018
  • August 14, 2018
  • September 18, 2018
  • December 11, 2018
Public Meetings and Events:    
Shorter timelines and a sharp focus on capital bonding typically define the second year of a biennium, but in 2018 Minnesota will see a number of additional issues clamor for legislators' attention.  
Tax reform a delicate tightrope 
Taxes will likely be the first, second, and third priorities for the Republican-controlled Legislature. The changes recently enacted by Congress present them with a challenge: If Minnesota simply adopts all of the federal reforms, it is estimated to increase state tax collections by $850 million in the current budget cycle. At the same time, there is the potential to make tax preparations an arduous task for filers if the state does not pass some kind of conforming legislation. For a party that bases their political messaging on reducing taxes, this will be a delicate tightrope to walk.
Opioid addiction, senior living abuse in spotlight 
Health care will again be under a spotlight, especially regarding issues dealing with opioids, the elder care system, and public health care programs. Governor Dayton has announced a bipartisan effort to put more funding into opioid addiction treatment and prevention, and recent media coverage of abuse and neglect in some senior living facilities has created a strong desire for legislative action.
States have also begun looking at Medicaid reform proposals via federal waivers to create new eligibility requirements. As one of the continually growing pieces of the state budget, Minnesota will likely have those conversations this year as well.
2018 elections promise drama 
Overshadowing all these pressing matters is the upcoming 2018 election. Minnesotans will be voting for a new governor and two U.S. senators this November, not to mention the entire state House of Representatives is on the ballot. The state Senate is not immune from drama either, as there continues to be discussion over whether Michelle Fischbach (R - Paynesville) can simultaneously serve as President of the Senate and Lt. Governor after Governor Dayton appointed his former Lt. Governor Tina Smith to take Sen. Al Franken's seat in Congress. 
If your head is spinning after reading all of this, you're not alone. We will keep you posted here as new trends and issues develop throughout the legislative session.

Career Opportunity: HR & Benefits Director

Thrifty White Pharmacy is looking for an HR & Benefits Director to join its team. They are looking for someone with 10-15+ years of HR Generalist and Benefits Management experience to help grow the company. The corporate office is located in Plymouth.
Thrifty White is a chain of 97 retail pharmacies located in rural communities in the Upper Midwest. We were named the 2016 National Pharmacy Innovator of the Year by Drug Store News. We were also recognized as one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Minnesota Retailers Association. Thrifty White is an ESOP company that is 100% owned by its 1,700 employees.

Please apply online at  www.thriftywhite.com 

"To the extent that you have seen innovation by insurers, it's often at the behest of employers."
Jonathan Kolstad, associate professor at the
University of California, Berkeley