Blog Post: Reflecting on 2014; Looking Ahead in 2015 by Carolyn Pare, Minnesota Health Action Group President and CEO

Blog Post: Reflecting on 2014; Looking Ahead in 2015 by Carolyn Pare, Minnesota Health Action Group President and CEO

As I began to prepare for the first member meeting of the year, designed to reflect on 2014 accomplishments and imagine 2015 possibilities, I wondered how I could fill 90 minutes. By the time my presentation was completed, I had to do a lot of paring down to fit the allotted time. It was a pleasure to host a full house, with over 40 Action Group members and guests in attendance.

Meeting highlights are summarized below. To view my presentation, you may either click here for an abbreviated version, or click here to log into the Member Center for the full version. And be sure to login to to access valuable tools and resources such as our Purchaser’s Guides, toolkits, Choosing Wisely® materials, meeting presentations, member contact list, and more. The website is continuously updated, so be sure to check in frequently.

A Busy 2014 

  • Minnesota Bridges to Excellence
    • Record number of clinics rewarded, sharing over $700,000 in reward payments
      • Optimal diabetes care: 62 clinics for achievement; 64 clinics for improvement
      • Optimal vascular care: 69 clinics for achievement; 132 clinics for improvement
      • Depression remission at six months: 75 clinics for achievement; 40 clinics for improvement
      • There were 12 clinics that met achievement goals in all three disease states, compared to only three in 2013
    • Increase in rewarded clinics directly translates to outstanding patient care
      • 5,600 more patients with diabetes
      • 2,700 more patients with vascular disease
      • 850 more patients with moderate-severe depression
  • Care Delivery Learning Network: Deep dive into overuse, high cost, and variability for:
  • Annual Employer Benefits Survey (42% increase in participation in 2014)
    • Each employer would have to pay a consultant upwards of $40,000 to conduct a similar survey (included in Action Group membership fees)
    • Offers invaluable strategic and tactical plan design details, along with insight into health plans, prescription drug trends, wellness programs, market innovations, and more
  • Choosing Wisely®
  • Member Meetings (Most presentations are available at
    • Cancer Care and Prevention
    • Improving Patient Safety
    • Closing the Gap in Obesity Management
    • Accountable Care Organizations
    • Wellness Incentive Design and Legal Challenges
  • Special Meetings
    • 7th Annual Employer Leadership Summit (during the worst blizzard of 2014!)
    • Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Recognition Event (plus Guiding Coalition and Champions of Change meetings)
    • Diabetes Prevention Summit at Mall of America 

An Exciting 2015

  • Ongoing Meetings and Initiatives
  • Employer Benefits Survey (now in its fifth year!)
  • Care Delivery Learning Network
    • Specialty Pharmacy Phase I (January-April 2015)
    • Specialty Pharmacy Phase II (May-December 2015)
  • National Diabetes Prevention Program
    • Received grant funding from the MN Department of Health to assist in adoption and implementation
    • Will provide resources, expertise and technical assistance to four communities

We also need to:

  • Continue our collective work to ensure that data and information is freely accessible to the people who write the checks for health care — individuals, employers and governmental entities — so they can be smart about what and how they buy.
  • Acknowledge that all purchasers are in this together; we can’t continue to shift cost from one group or entity, say government to commercial to self-insured to individual.
  • Understand the real cost of goods and services, the quality of procedures and outcomes, and get a handle on misuse, overuse and mistakes to make health care affordable and available to all.

Action Group membership has grown more in the past year than it has in the previous several years. This growth indicates that we have reached a tipping point here in Minnesota. As we often say, we can do together what none of us could do alone.