Looking Back with our Eyes on the Future: 2016 in Review; 2017 Preview–Blog by Carolyn Pare

Looking Back with our Eyes on the Future: 2016 in Review; 2017 Preview–Blog by Carolyn Pare


The Action Group is a member-led organization, and our collective accomplishments reflect the priorities and passions of our members.

As the year draws to a close, it is appropriate to celebrate what we achieved in 2016, and look ahead to new opportunities for learning and collaboration in 2017. Here are the highlights!


Top Highlights of 2016:



Deb Krause

Adding new members and staff

We were pleased to add Allina Health, Medica, Metropolitan Council, and Preferred One to our member roster. With each new member, our voice is increased, and the perspectives, ideas and energy each member brings make us stronger! The new member directory is available in The Action Group’s online Member Center.

We also welcomed Deb Krause to our staff, who brings with her a wealth of experience and a clear vision for future initiatives.

Enabling valuable conversations

We hosted 14 events to serve members and non-members. From our much-anticipated Annual Employer Leadership Summit, to high-impact meetings on topics such as engaging employees as consumers, promoting cost effective maternity care, and best practices in addressing diabetes, it was a busy year of learning and networking for all. And our findings open new pathways for making the health care purchasers’ voice heard in the marketplace.

Our findings open new pathways for making the health care purchasers’ voice heard in the marketplace

Identifying best practices and insights

Through our proprietary Annual Employer Benefits Survey, we uncovered many fascinating findings.

Did you know that consumer education is the number one tactic employers are using to control premium trends? Or that one-fourth of all employers are planning to change health plan vendors in the coming year?

View the Survey summary here.



Consumer education is the number one tactic employers are using to control premium trends


Increasing awareness and understanding of advance care planning

The Action Group, Stratis Health, and Honoring Choices Minnesota joined forces to ignite an advance care planning (ACP) movement across Minnesota.

Our objective is to increase awareness and understanding about ACP and end-of-life care, so every stakeholder can confidently participate in calm, informed, compassionate conversations before the need arises.

See our Advance Care Planning Statewide Call to Action here.


Increased awareness and understanding of ACP and end-of-life care allows for calm, informed compassionate conversations before the need arises.

Improving workforce health and productivity through access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP)

NDPPLogo_English_CMYKOne in three of American adults, or about 86 million people, have prediabetes and 90% of them don’t know it.

That’s why the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is collaborating with The Action Group to engage employers and insurers across the state to make the NDPP a covered benefit for employees.

Bridging the gap in quality through Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE)

mnbte_logo_text2MNBTE is unique in the market: purchaser-led, simple, unbiased and fully transparent, high standards, and focus on continuous improvement in 2016, this pay-for-performance program rewarded 276 clinics across the state and in border communities with nearly $1 million for improving outcomes for patients with diabetes, vascular disease, and depression. Read the press release here. See event highlights and photos here.

Impacting care delivered in Minnesota

While health care is dynamic and everything is changing, we know that the MNBTE program is improving care for all Minnesotans. One doctor wrote: “Our focus is on the Triple Aim of improving and enhancing the patient experience while making care affordable. Our clinicians and teams work tirelessly to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for every patient.” Another doctor reflected, “MNBTE continuously challenges us to raise the bar on delivering optimal care for our patients.”

Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) is improving care for all MInnesotans


Learning Together: Specialty Pharmacy


Two years of study through our Specialty Pharmacy Learning and Action Network culminated in an extremely well attended Community Dialogue, where we rolled out the framework for getting the Five Rights, Right: Right drug, right price, right place, right support, right data.

The Action Group has received national attention for this leading-edge work and will now convene a multi-stakeholder workgroup to determine specific action items, deliverables and a multi-year timeline.




Indeed, it’s been an action-packed year, and the future looks bright.

Happy new year to all of the members of The Action Group, as well as our valued stakeholders and collaborators!

Carolyn Pare is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Minnesota Health Action Group.