Sage Advice Newsletter - Spring 2023

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Sage Advice Newsletter

Spring 2023

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In this newsletter...

New Sage Webinar Series

June 28 kicks off Sage Webinar Series and Office Hours

The Sage Clinical Services team is happy to announce our upcoming Sage Provider Webinar Series! We will host an educational webinar each quarter that details different aspects of the work Sage Programs are doing. A previous webinar recording can be found on our website that gives an overview of the Sage Program.

Tune into our June 28 Webinar to meet new Sage staff, learn about Cancer Screening Quality Improvement, and get your Sage questions answered.  

Join our July 26 Office Hours for a brief Sage Program overview and Q&A Time. Office Hours will be informal with a focus on the Sage Cancer Screening Programs Orientation Checklist and plenty of time for questions. The Sage Office Hours are intended for new clinic staff or clinic staff who need a refresher on the Sage Program. The Sage Office Hours are recurring every three months. The next Office Hours will be held in October.

Register for Sage Office Hours

Sage Webinar Series – We want your feedback! 

Do you have questions about Sage or want to learn more about a specific topic? We’d love to know.

Please fill out this short survey to help us make sure the webinars are relevant to you.  

Mobile Mammography Roundtable Event

Exploring ways to increase mobile mammography efforts

On May 30, the Sage Program, American Cancer Society, and Masonic Cancer Center hosted a successful roundtable event to discuss ways to increase mobile mammography efforts across the state. There were two presentations, two panels, and a breakout roundtable session to close out the event. Those in attendance included community partners and healthcare provider partners, among many others.

Special thank you to all who participated in our panel opportunities; Native American Community Clinic, StairStep, Breast Cancer Champions, Bois Forte, Park Nicollet, Essentia, and Mayo. The group brainstormed many ideas to increasing mobile mammography efforts and we’re excited to continue the conversation.  

Cancer Screening Quality Improvement

Investigating The Community Guide and CDC Cancer Screening Change Packages

The MDH Cancer Screening Quality Improvement (CSQI) Program receives funding from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) -- Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDPto implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs) and quality improvement activities identified in “The Community Guide.” The purpose of the EBIs is to increase and improve the quality of colorectal, breast and cervical screening and follow-up testing in primary care clinics and health systems serving high-need populations using a health equity approach. The Community Guide outlines EBIs required by the CDC, which are provider assessment and feedback, provider reminders, client reminders, and reducing structural barriers.  

The CDC Cancer Screening Change Packages are a great resource for any clinic that wants to increase breast, cervical or colorectal cancer screening for their patients. The change packages are designed to provide evidence-based and practice-based changes, tools, and resources that providers can choose from to improve the effectiveness of cancer screening in their clinic.

Interested in learning more about CSQI? Tune in to our June Webinar

Minnesota Cancer Reporting Systems 2023 Biennial Report

Patterns of cancer incidence and mortality 

This report describes the patterns and trends of new cancer diagnoses (incidence) and cancer deaths (mortality) from 1988 to 2019. It presents incidence and mortality statistics for all cancers combined and the 10 most common cancers in Minnesota. The report consists of a summary of results accompanied by a new online interactive web page and a supplement citing publications in public health and research that used MCRS data.

2023 Susan G. Komen Minnesota Race for the Cure 

Highlighting another successful year

It takes a village to fight breast cancer, and those who participated in this year’s Minnesota Race for the Cure helped raise critical funds that will invest in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer, eliminate inequitable barriers to quality care, and provide patients’ direct support in their treatment journey.

This year’s Race, which was located at Viking Lakes in Eagan, raised over $350,000 dollars and hosted nearly 3,500 participants! Kool 108’s Lee Valsvik was this year’s emcee and welcomed the Minnesota community to Susan G. Komen’s annual event that honors those affected by breast cancer. In addition to the fantastic vendors, sponsors, and participants the event also welcomed U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to the Opening Ceremony and Parade of Hope.

Susan G. Komen is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide.  They advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information.

To learn more visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with them on social at

RFTC bright

Sage Program Updates

Reminder to submit Sage forms

The 2023 Sage Program grant year comes to a close at the end of June. The Sage Program goal is to screen 7100 individuals per year. In order for us reach this goal, we're asking clinics to make sure all of their required Sage paperwork is submitted so they can be reimbursed for services. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Sage has a new logo

Sage Programs has been working with a graphic design firm for the past year to develop an updated Sage logo! The refreshed logo is meant to represent wisdom and life, and is a unique blend of MDH and Sage branding. Sage will also have new brochures and other materials that partners will be able to print for their own use. There will be a full guide with instructions on how to use the new logo for co-branding materials. Be on the lookout for an email from Sage that contains more details, including a link to our new order form.

Sage Logo

Unsure why a claim hasn't been paid?

Approximately once a week, Sage sends providers a hardcopy remit in the US Mail that lists claims that have not been paid or were denied and the reason why. On a monthly basis, Sage sends a Missing Mammogram & Pap Report to providers for claims that won’t pay due to this missing information. Please reference these reports prior to contacting Sage to inquire why a claim has not been paid. If you are not receiving either of these reports, please contact Sage at or 651-201-5630. 

SagePlus grant update

SagePlus recently submitted its competitive application for the next round of WISEWOMAN grant funding. The upcoming grant is very similar to the current SagePlus grant with a couple of notable changes: 1) Age eligibility guidelines will include women 35-64, currently women 40-64 are eligible and 2) All participants will be assessed for Social Determinants of Health and referred to a social services network for barrier reduction support options (please note, these guidelines do not affect Sage Program eligibility guidelines). 

We are looking forward to continuing our work in helping women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease by providing services to promote heart-healthy lifestyles.

Draft breast cancer screening recommendations from the USPSTF (United State Preventive Services Taskforce) 

There will be no impact on Sage program guidance as we already allow for reimbursement of mammograms for women 40 and older every year.

We do not know when the final recommendations will be released. The public comments period is scheduled to end on June 5. After that, the committee must review and prepare responses to the public comments. However, we will notify you when we learn that the final recommendations have been released.


Draft Recommendation


Women ages 40 to 74 years

The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women ages 40 to 74 years.



Women age 75 years or older

The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women age 75 years or older.


Women with dense breasts

The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of supplemental screening for breast cancer using breast ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in women identified to have dense breasts on an otherwise negative screening mammogram. See the "Practice Considerations" section for more information on the patient population to whom this recommendation applies and on screening mammography modalities.


Sage FAQs

Read below for answers to frequently asked questions from our clinic partners


Q: Will Sage cover the cost of a telehealth visit?

A: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 extended telehealth flexibilities through December 31, 2024. Therefore, Sage will continue to cover the costs of current telehealth services for breast education prior to their mammograms as long as your clinic has processes in place for completing and forwarding program enrollment forms and for managing the follow-up for any Sage-eligible clients who have abnormal mammograms. 

Q: Does the Sage Program still cover colonoscopies for patients?

A: No. Since 2020, MDH no longer covers colonoscopies. 

Q: Does my clinic have a deadline to submit enrollment forms/reports/results?

A: Yes. Providers have 120 days from the patient's date of service to submit enrollment forms and reports/results or the claim will be denied. 

Q: Does the Sage Program cover pelvic ultrasounds?

A: No. We do not cover workups for abnormal bleeding or post-menopausal bleeding.

Q: Does the Sage Program cover breast MRIs?

A: In some cases. Please contact Follow-up Coordinator - Nikki Kuechenmeister,

Looking Ahead

Upcoming webinars and events

July 26 – Sage Office Hours 

August 10 – August 11 – The Many Faces of Community Health Conference