The Minnesota Health Action Group Campaign

Helping Patients and Providers Have Meaningful Conversations

Welcome

The Minnesota Health Action Group drives innovations that support high quality health care, creates engaged consumers, and ensures the economic vitality of all Minnesota communities.

Whether it’s bridging gaps in quality for patients with diabetes, depression and vascular care through Minnesota Bridges to Excellence, increasing the value of supply-sensitive care that is subject to overuse or inappropriate use through our Learning and Action Networks, identifying benefits best practices and insights through our proprietary Annual Employer Benefits Survey,  improving workforce health by promoting access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program, or increasing awareness of advance care planning, we continuously strive to enable valuable conversations that lead to essential change.

Now, we are pleased to offer a high-value, turnkey, no-cost 2017 employee communication campaign for Minnesota employers in partnership with Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation.

Learn more about the campaign.

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Simply stated, there is too much waste – misuse and overuse of health care services – in the U.S. health care system; by some estimates as much as 30 percent of what is spent. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 40 percent of Americans don’t get the right care. It is important for patients and their physicians to engage directly about appropriate use – choosing care that is supported by evidence showing that it works for patients like them, is not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, it won’t harm them, and is truly necessary.

View this video for a short explanation about why Choosing Wisely is needed and what it is.

2017 Minnesota Employee Communication Campaign

Consumer Reports and the Minnesota Health Action Group have collaborated to develop a high-value, turnkey, no-cost 2017 employee communication campaign for Minnesota employers. Below you will find monthly customizable content you may use on your website, in your newsletters, or through social media channels.

MONTH: June

TOPIC: Choosing Wisely – 10 Things to Reject in the Delivery Room

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

When you are pregnant, you may get lots of advice about what you should DO. In this month’s Choosing Wisely® feature, Consumer Reports suggests that you talk to your doctor about these 10 things that you may want to REJECT during your baby’s delivery. They’ll help you—and your baby—get off to a healthier start. Simply use this link to learn more:

10 things to reject in the delivery room

 

This report is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

 

MONTH: May (Mental Health Awareness Month)

TOPIC: Choosing Wisely – Medicines to Treat Depression

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

There may be times in your life when you will feel very sad like when losing a job, losing someone you love, or even getting sick. After a while, with the help of your family or a counselor, you should be able to recover and go back to handling your life as you used to. However, if you are having a very hard time feeling better AND,

  • You feel “sad” every day for more than 2 weeks, or you feel like you cannot handle your life as you used to, AND
  • You have five or more of the symptoms described in the Choosing Wisely® fact sheet, it is possible you are suffering from depression and need to take medicine.

If you think you are depressed, talk to your doctor. This fact sheet from Consumer Reports will help you learn about antidepressant medicines and what you should talk to your doctor about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s very important for your health. Simply use this link to learn more:

Let’s learn about medicines to treat depression

If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, call 9-1-1, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for immediate help: 1-800-273-8255.

This report is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

 

MONTH: April

TOPIC: Choosing Wisely – Asking Good Questions

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

It’s not always easy to know what to ask your doctor about tests, treatments and procedures. So, Consumer Reports and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation have created 5 simple questions that will help you start the conversation and put you on the path to Choosing Wisely®.

  • Do I really need this test or procedure?
  • What are the risks and side effects?
  • Are there simpler, safer options?
  • What happens if I don’t do anything?
  • How much does it cost, and will my insurance pay for it?

Download and print this handy wallet card as a reminder:

5 questions to ask your doctor before you get any treatment, test or procedure

This report is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

 

MONTH: March

TOPIC: Choosing Wisely – Palliative Care

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

Palliative (comfort) care is a new idea in health care. It is a big help for people with serious illness. A trained health care team helps you and your loved ones deal with the many issues that come with serious illnesses like congestive heart failure, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and cancer.

With palliative care, you can get physical, emotional and spiritual support. Your health care team will help make a treatment plan to relieve pain and symptoms—such as fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea, and depression.

Palliative care can help at any stage of a serious illness, but many patients miss out on the benefits. Their doctors often wait too long to order it, or don’t refer patients for this care. This month’s Choosing Wisely® feature from Consumer Reports and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation helps you understand how to get the best care for yourself or a loved one during a serious illness. Simply use this link to learn more:

Palliative care: Support at any time during a serious illness

This report is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

 

MONTH: February (American Heart Month)

TOPIC: Choosing Wisely – Heart Health

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

Vitamins and supplements are big business in the U.S. In fact, Americans spent almost $34 billion on them in 2013, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. These products are heavily marketed. For many years, people believed claims that they could help prevent heart disease and cancer. There has now been a great deal of research on these claims. The research shows that most people don’t benefit from taking supplements. In fact, some supplements can even be harmful for some people. Consumer Reports and the American College of Preventive Medicine collaborated to create this month’s Choosing Wisely® guide summarizing what you should know about the use of dietary supplements to prevent heart disease and cancer. Simply use this link to learn more:

Dietary supplements to prevent cancer and heart disease: They don’t help — and some can be harmful

This report is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports and interesting patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

 

MONTH: December/January

TOPIC: Helping You Choose (Health Care) Wisely in 2017

FEATURE PARAGRAPH:

You probably know: Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to protecting the safety, health and well-being of consumers. Like millions of Americans, you may have checked their unbiased ratings of everything from cars, to computers, to washing machines!

You may not know: Americans can also trust Consumer Reports for important, independent health and medical information. Consumer Reports partners with medical specialty societies to create valuable resources to help Americans make important decisions that can affect their quality of life now… and for years to come.

Beginning in 2017, <Employer Name> will be featuring brief, helpful information from Consumer Reports each month <where? On intranet site/in newsletter?>. Watch for our first “Choosing Wisely®” feature in January.

Information from Consumer Reports is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Please view a welcome message about the Minnesota campaign:

Welcome to The Action Group’s Collaboration with Consumer Reports

The full library of Choosing Wisely reports and interesting patient stories is available at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/Minnesota

More about the Minnesota Choosing Wisely Campaign

The campaign includes:

  • Curated content from Choosing Wisely®: Actionable, newsworthy and aligned with calendar and national health observances (e.g., Heart Month, Diabetes Month).
  • Brief “feature” paragraph: The information will be linked to Choosing Wisely content, and can be used on your website, or in your organization’s newsletter.
  • E-mail reminders: Reminders to use specific Choosing Wisely content will be sent to Action Group members by the 15th of the month for the upcoming month.

In addition, The Action Group is a long-time Consumer Reports consumer communication partner, using and promoting the diverse, patient-friendly, and free resources available to employers:

  • Making Healthy Choices: Patients are faced with many health care choices; employers are interested in helping employees and their family members make informed decisions. To help, Consumer Reports created Making Health Choices, a toolset including a video series, mobile app, and website, using Choosing Wisely. Learn more here.
  • Co-branded microsites: By co-branding with Consumer Reports, employers have a place to send employees and their dependents for evidence-based Choosing Wisely materials that can be read, watched or downloaded.
  • Co-branded collateral: Interested in co-branding Choosing Wisely collateral for your employees? Consumer Reports can co-brand certain pieces of collateral (such as posters and wallet cards) at no cost.

For additional information or assistance about the Minnesota Choosing Wisely campaign, please contact Deb Krause (dkrause@mnhealthactiongroup.org; 952-529-1119).

Please note: Include this caveat whenever using Choosing Wisely materials in your employee communications: “Information from Consumer Reports is for you to use when talking with your health care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment.”

All resources available from Consumer Reports cannot be modified or altered in any way, without approval from Consumer Reports. Additionally, all users of this information must abide by CR’s no-commercial use policy.

 

Minnesota Bridges to Excellence

The Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) program is a model for innovation in performance measurement, market alignment, and meaningful collaboration among stakeholders. MNBTE is the only purchaser-led pay-for-performance program in the nation that pays for outcomes, uses standard metrics across all payers, and includes the public sector through the State of Minnesota Quality Incentive Payment System (QIPS). Now in its 11th year, the program is also distinguished by its transparency, simplicity, high standards, and commitment to continuous improvement. In 2016, 103 clinics were recognized for optimal diabetes care, 109 for optimal depression care, and 149 for optimal vascular care. Resources to help providers and patients have meaningful conversations related to diabetes, depression, and vascular care are included below.

Diabetes

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

This is a report about the different medicines that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Choosing a Type 2 Diabetes Drug

You might assume you need medication to help control type 2 diabetes. But lifestyle changes alone can sometimes suffice. And when drugs are needed, the best choice usually isn’t one of the newer, heavily advertised ones.

Drugs for Diabetes

Six types of oral medicines (and 12 individual drugs) are now available to help the 25.8 million people in the U.S. with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar when diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. Here is our evaluation of these medicines.

Depression

Treating Depression

If you think you are depressed, here’s how to talk with your doctor about antidepressant medicines.

Antidepressants

Retail prices for commonly prescribed antidepressants range from about $20 a month to more than $400 a month. This report shows how you can save $100 a month ($1,200 a year) or more if you have to take an antidepressant regularly.

Antipsychotics for Depression

The atypical antipsychotics aren’t good first choices as add-ons to antidepressants, especially if you are overweight or have heart disease or diabetes. Our medical consultants recommend they be used cautiously and only after first trying other strategies.

 

Heart Disease

Treating Heart Disease

If you suffer from heart disease and need to take medicine, then learn about medicines like aspirin and similar medications, known as antiplatelets, which can help protect your heart.

From Best Buy Drugs

Antiplatelet Drugs

This report evaluates the use of five antiplatelet drugs.

Statins

There are seven statins, but they’re not all the same. Some deliver a greater reduction in cholesterol than others.

Treating High Blood Pressure

If diet and exercise alone do not help enough, then you should consider adding a blood pressure drug.

From Choosing Wisely

Carotid Artery Surgery (AAN)

Having some blockage in a carotid artery doesn’t automatically mean you should have artery-clearing surgery.

Cholesterol Drugs for People Over 75 (AMDA)

If you are age 75 or older and you haven’t had symptoms of heart disease, statins may be a bad idea.

Clogged Neck Arteries (AAFP)

Do you need a screening test for clogged neck arteries?

CMR Tests for Chest Pain and Cardiac Screening (SCMR)

CMR is an imaging test for heart disease. But it may not be the best test for you.

Echocardiogram Before Surgery (ASE)

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need an echocardiogram first.

Echocardiograms for Valve Disease (ACC)

When do you need an echocardiogram?

Echocardiography After Valve Surgery (STS)

Sometimes the echocardiogram imaging test is done very soon after heart valve surgery, while you are still in the hospital. Usually that’s not useful.

EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests (AAFP)

EKGs or exercise stress tests usually aren’t necessary for people without symptoms.

Heart Imaging Before Surgery (ACC)

If you’re having surgery, you may wonder if you need a heart imaging test first to make sure it is safe.

Heart Stress Tests Before Chest Surgery (STS)

Stress tests usually aren’t helpful if you don’t have heart problems.

Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery (ASNC)

If you don’t have heart problems, you probably don’t need a heart test before an operation.

Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure (ACC)

If you’ve had bypass surgery or a stent inserted to open a blocked artery, do you need regular imaging tests?

Imaging Tests for Heart Disease (ACC)

If you are a healthy person without symptoms, you should think twice about having these tests.

Implanted Heart Devices at the End of Life (AAHPM)

An ICD helps the heart beat normally. But if you are near death, those shocks can make things worse.

Preventing Seizures After an Ischemic Stroke (AANS, CNS)

Anti-seizure medicine is not usually necessary after an ischemic stroke.

Stable Heart Disease (SCAI)

You may not need an angiogram if your heart disease is stable. Here’s why.

Stress Tests After a Stent Procedure (SCAI)

Stress tests usually aren’t helpful after a stent procedure, unless you have symptoms of heart disease.

Stress Tests Before Surgery (SVM)

If you’re having surgery, you will probably not need a heart stress test beforehand if you are healthy, active, and feeling well, or if you’re having minor surgery.

Stress Tests for Chest Pain (ASNC)

If you’re at low risk for having a heart problem, even if you have symptoms, you usually don’t need this imaging test.

Testing After Heart Procedures (ASNC)

Unless you’re experiencing symptoms, this test usually isn’t helpful in the first few years after heart bypass surgery or a stent procedure.

Tests Before Heart Surgery (STS)

Before heart surgery, you probably don’t need a breathing test or carotid ultrasound test, unless you have breathing problems or symptoms.

Treating Blocked Leg Arteries (SVM)

Most people with Peripheral Artery Disease won’t benefit from surgery or angioplasty.

 

MNHealthScores

MN Community Measurement collects and reports data about the health of populations (such as children), health conditions (such as diabetes or asthma), procedures (such as heart surgery), and where care takes place (such as a clinic or hospital). Making this information available publicly benefits all Minnesotans, who can find reliable, independently verified health care information, compare clinics and hospitals, and find providers close to home.

This information is used by Minnesota Bridges to Excellence to identify and reward clinics that provide exceptional diabetes, depression and vascular care to patients. See how your clinic or hospital performs or use the information to find a provider.

Choosing Wisely: Tests

Choosing Wisely helps doctors and patients together avoid needless and even harmful procedures.

Each PDF file may be read here, printed or downloaded to the user’s own device.

Choosing Wisely: Imaging

Choosing Wisely helps doctors and patients together avoid needless and even harmful procedures.

Each PDF file may be read here, printed or downloaded to the user’s own device.

Choosing Wisely: Drugs

Choosing Wisely helps doctors and patients together avoid needless and even harmful procedures.

Each PDF file may be read here, printed or downloaded to the user’s own device.

Choosing Wisely: Procedures

Choosing Wisely helps doctors and patients together avoid needless and even harmful procedures.

Each PDF file may be read here, printed or downloaded to the user’s own device.

About Us

Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, helps patients and physicians engage in these conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and supports physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices. Patients can be safer, save money, avoid hassles and get better sooner if they know how and where to shop for their medical care.

That’s why Consumer Reports is collaborating with employers, associations, medical groups, coalitions and health-care advocates to distribute the best available information about doctors, hospitals, treatments, drugs and preventive health strategies.

The Action Group has partnered with Consumer Reports, the nation’s leading expert, independent, nonprofit consumer organization, which is working with the ABIM Foundation to provide resources for consumers and physicians to engage in these important conversations. Through this partnership, our members have access to downloadable patient-oriented communications that will assist their employees in discussing appropriate use with their doctors.  Click on the Choosing Wisely tab to review and download the material you are interested in.  Some of the material is also available in Easy-to-Read and Spanish versions.  And, check back as more resources are added in the future.

About the Minnesota Health Action Group

The Minnesota Health Action Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers whose sole purpose is to represent the collective voice of those who write the checks for health care in Minnesota. Action Group members collaborate with community stakeholders to drive innovations that support high quality health care, create engaged consumers and ensure the economic vitality of all Minnesota communities. Based in Bloomington, Minn., the Minnesota Health Action Group was formed in 1988 as the Buyers Health Care Action Group. To learn more, visit www.mnhealthactiongroup.org.

Follow on LinkedIn and Twitter: @actiongroupmn

For More Information about the Program or to Join The Action Group

Please contact Deb Krause, Vice President, at dkrause@mnhealthactiongroup.org or 952-529-1119.