April 4, 2018
New Health Care Disparities Report Reveals Health Care Gaps

Showing significant room for improvement in closing health care gaps for people enrolled in state health plans, MN Community Measurement (MNCM) yesterday released the 2017 Health Care Disparities Report with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

"The latest Health Care Disparities Report calls for community-wide action to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and get the care they need," says Chuck Johnson, acting Human Services commissioner.

Deb Krause, Action Group vice president, represents employers/ purchasers on several MNCM committees to contribute to ensuring goals for improving health care in Minnesota workplaces and communities are set, aligned and measured.
Action Group Blogs Capture Key Topics, Insights

In case you missed the latest Action Group blogs on topics of high interest, here's a chance to catch up on your reading: 
April Member Meeting: ACOs: Accelerating Value!

Health care costs crossword puzzle, Health insurance concept. 3D illustration isolated on white background. 
Do you want to increase health care efficiency, improve outcomes, and lower costs? Action Group members are invited to join us for the April 24, 2018, member meeting from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., at the Hilton Airport/MOA to learn how you can use Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to accelerate value for your organization. Click here to view the full meeting description.

Joining members to examine the successes (and shortcomings) of ACOs from a variety of perspectives will be industry experts:  
  • David Crosby, president and CEO of PreferredOne
  • Michael Phelps, president and CEO of Ridgeview Medical Center
  • Ken Horstman, senior director of total compensation for the University of Minnesota

While this is a member-exclusive meeting, if you are actively considering membership and would like to attend, please contact Sue Jesseman (sjesseman@mnhealthactiongroup.org) for a complimentary meeting pass. 

Five Reasons Not to Miss the Employer Leadership Summit
"An organization's culture of purpose answers the critical questions of who it is and why it exists. They have a culture of purpose beyond making a profit."
Punit Renjen, CEO, Deloitte
Please join us at this year's Annual Employer Leadership Summit:  "A NEW LENS: Purpose-Driven Solutions for Optimal Health." (Click here to view the Summit Preview.)
Here are the top five reasons you won't want to miss this exciting event!

This event typically sells out , so register today to save your spot!  


Plan Your Summit Sponsor Visits! 
Many thanks to our sponsors for making this event not only possible, but an annual success!
CDC Diabetes Report Card is In!

The new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Diabetes Report Card includes trend analysis for the nation, as well as state progress in meeting established goals for improving care and reducing costs, as well as the rate of new cases.   

While the rate of new cases of diabetes among U.S. adults has decreased, alarmingly, the rate of cases among children and adolescents has gone up. To improve education and accelerate behavior change, the first national prediabetes awareness campaign was launched, and new resources for employers, health insurers, and states have been developed. 

"We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health to encourage employers to offer the CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered benefit," says Carolyn Pare, Action Group president and CEO. "Not only is medical care to treat diabetes enormously expensive, complications such as heart, kidney, eye and nerve disease are serious and very costly in many ways."
National Healthcare Decisions Week April 16-22
"It always seems too early, until it's too late"

National Healthcare Decisions week kicks off April 16, 2018, with National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). This initiative of The Conversation Project is an annual nationwide initiative to provide clear, concise, consistent information on health care decision making through simple, free and uniform tools.

Employers can play an important role in helping employees begin difficult but essential conversations about end-of-life care. That's why Cathy Wurzer, host of Morning Edition for MPR News, will join us at the Annual Leadership Summit to share her experiences as a leadership team member and co-founder of The Convenings, an effort to help Minnesotans talk about the often-taboo subject of late-life planning and living as fully as possible in spite of disease and disability at the end of life. 
University of Minnesota Adding to Office of HR Staff

The University of Minnesota is seeking three experienced professionals to join the Office of Human Resources team. To learn more or to apply, please click on the links below. 
Learning Opportunities for Benefits Professionals  
The Action Group makes it easy for benefits professionals to continue to learn and grow in their careers! Member meetings feature topics selected by our members, and public meetings and events are open to all.  
Member Meetings:

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.  
  • April 24, 2018: ACOs: Accelerating Value!
  • Future member meetings: June 21, 2018, August 14, 2018, September 18, 2018, December 11, 2018
Public Meetings and Events:     
Despite the absence of spring, we are hopeful a spring picture of the Capitol will be in order soon!  
The Legislature's Easter/Passover recess this week follows a frantic two weeks as committees worked long hours to move bills through the necessary committees before the March 29 policy deadline. Once legislators return, more focus will shift to finance bills, namely a supplemental budget along with possible tax and capital bonding bills.

As the session heads toward its final six weeks, three issue areas continue to move to the forefront in health care:

  • Pharmaceuticals/opioids: Beyond the ongoing discussion about how to fund opioid treatment and prevention programs, bills making changes to the state's step therapy regulations (SF2897/HF3196) and price gag rules for pharmacists (SF2836/HF3024) are also moving forward.
  • Reforms in the state's Medical Assistance program: Proposals to create work requirements for able-bodied adults on Medicaid (SF3611/HF3722) received a great deal of attention given the political volatility of the issue, but the proposals are given very little chance of becoming law -- instead, they will stay alive as fodder for the upcoming 2018 election cycle.
  • Improving protections for seniors and vulnerable adults: Governor Dayton and Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature are putting forward a bipartisan plan to protect and enhance the health, safety, and quality of life for Minnesota's seniors and vulnerable adults (SF3437).
It will be a very busy close to the 2018 legislative session. Stay tuned for the latest developments.  

"You get people much more deeply involved in their work when they can do it with compassion."
Monica Worline, Founder and CEO of EnlivenWork
(and speaker at The Action Group's Employer Leadership Summit)