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MNCM and the NQF Measure Incubator

In 2017, MNCM joined the National Quality Forum (NQF) Measure Incubator to lead a measure testing project on a project to examine a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient-reported outcome performance measure (PRO-PM). This project is expected to be active until June 2019. The NQF Measure Incubator is an innovative effort that facilitates efficient measure development and testing through collaboration and partnership. It addresses important aspects of care for which quality measures are underdeveloped or non-existent. Learn more at:


Applications Sought for Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC)

[UPDATE: The deadline for this round of MARC applications has ended.]

MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) will have openings for several new members beginning February 2018. Members are being sought for the following positions:

  • Consumer (two openings)
  • Medical Group – Medium Metro (one opening)
  • Medical Group – Large Metro (two openings)
  • Medical Group – Single Specialty (one opening)

New Members will replace current members whose terms end in December 2017. In addition to filling the criteria noted above, other information that will be considered includes measurement and quality improvement experience, race and ethnic diversity and background in nursing or as another member of the care team. MNCM is interested in recruiting new members, so a variety of community stakeholders have an opportunity to serve on this important committee.

The MARC is a committee of the MNCM Board of Directors with a broad membership of community stakeholders. The committee’s purpose is to recommend measurement priorities and specifications to the Board and to recommend guiding principles and/or policies for MNCM’s public reporting of measures. The MARC is supported by Measure Development Work Groups established by MNCM staff at the direction of the MARC. Work groups are charged with recommending draft measurement specifications and data collection plans.

This committee meets monthly. Members are required to attend/actively participate in at least 75 percent of meetings. Each member serves a two-year term, and has a three-term limit. MARC members may also be asked to serve on a Measure Development Work Group.

If interested, click on the link below to complete an application by the close of business on Thursday, October 19, 2017:

Submit application to Anne Snowden, Director of Performance Measurement, Validation and Reporting at

After nominations have closed, MNCM staff will convene a committee to review applications and make selections with a goal to appoint new members by early November after which all applicants and those selected as new members will be notified.


MNCM Registry Services

The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is coming. Please take the time to review the MN Community Measurement Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) content at this link. Now is the time to ask questions, seek answers and prepare for MIPS and specifically the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Whether your medical group is new to quality reporting or participated in PQRS previously, you are encouraged to connect with MNCM!


MNCM Webinar Outlines QPP and MIPS

A webinar introduction of the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) hosted and recorded by MN Community Measurement has been posted online for viewing and review. The webinar informs viewers about QPP and MIPS reporting and is available at this link under the Learn More section. MNCM encourages those interested to check back at this link periodically as the page will be updated with new and helpful definitions, links, future webinars and other useful information.


MNCM Annual Seminar Draws 300+ To Share Best Practices

The MN Community Measurement Annual Seminar 2017, held on September 13, began with insight from journalist and local broadcasting legend Don Shelby (picture at right) and continued throughout the day with astute discussions, interactive breakout sessions, useful education, ideas and best practices.

Morning speakers included Tim Hernandez, MD, MNCM Board Chair, Don Shelby, new MNCM President Julie Sonier, a panel on health equity featuring moderators Daniel Trajano, MD, and Gaye Adams Massey and panelists Clarence Jones with Southside Community Health Services, Matt Flory with the American Cancer Society and Molly Duerr with the American Diabetes Association. The final morning speaker was National Quality Forum President and CEO Shantanu Agrawal, MD (picture below) with perspectives on the national quality measurement scene and the current view of health reform from Washington, DC.

SAVE THE DATE: Hold September 12, 2018 and plan to attend the Annual Seminar 2018!

A brief power outage at the event center dimmed the lights momentarily before Jennifer DeCubellis and Ross Owen illuminated the room with insight into the cross system measurement and approach used to improve community health in the state’s largest and most diverse county, Hennepin County, in the bonus lunch plenary session.

Interactive and informational breakout sessions began the afternoon. The three breakouts were repeated for the convenience of attendees so that any one attendee could attend and participate in the two breakout sessions that best matched and met their interests. The sessions were:

  • Patient Experience – Disparities and Community Efforts with presenters Lois Brown of the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, JooHee Pomplun a consultant with the Hmong American Partnership and Dina Wellbrock of MNCM.
  • Cost of Care Trends and Strategies with presenters Allan Baumgarten publisher of Baumgarten’s Health Market Reviews and Gunnar Nelson of MNCM.
  • Measurement On-a-Stick Development, Process & Alignment with presenters Anne Snowden, Collette Pitzen and Amy Krier of MNCM.

The final afternoon session was an engaging plenary panel titled, “In the New World-The Impact of Variation.” The variation panel was moderated by Daniel Trajano, MD, and featured panelists Sarah Crane MD with Mayo Clinic, Mike Van Scoy MD with Essentia Health and Professor Jon Christianson PhD with the University of Minnesota.

Speaker bios and topics covered can be viewed at the Seminar website

More than 300 participated the Annual Seminar 2017. Attendees represented vastly different roles within health care measurement, quality improvement and a wide variety of practice sizes and environments among providers of various levels and experience. They came from Ely, Fergus Falls and Rochester, all across the Twin Cities and several from South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Feedback from attendees was very positive, with 92% saying that they would attend another MNCM event.

The MNCM Annual Seminar 2018 will be held on September 12, 2018 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN.


2018 Reporting Changes: Colorectal Cancer Screening and Asthma Measures to be added to Cycle A

To better align data submission timelines for the Colorectal Cancer Screening and Asthma measures with MIPS requirements, it was necessary to change the dates of service to a calendar year (January – December). For more information about these changes, please click here. These changes not only support medical groups in meeting federal MIPS reporting requirements, but also support health plan reporting requirements. While MNCM recognizes this will require operational changes for medical groups, aligning with the federal programs is necessary for all stakeholders.

Because MIPS reporting requires data submission by March 31 each year,according to the following timelines:

  • Jan 31, 2018: Colorectal Cancer Screening
  • Feb 15, 2018: Optimal Diabetes Care, Optimal Vascular Care, Optimal Asthma Control/Self-Management & Education
  • Feb 28, 2018: Depression Care (DOS 02/01/2017-12/31/2017)

Pre-submission documentation will be requested in December 2017 to allow ample time for data collection.

Drafts of the 2018 registration and data collection guides will be available for download from the MNCM Data Portal Resources tab in September. Measure specification changes will be minimal and relatively straightforward to apply. In particular for the colorectal cancer screening specifications, there will be the expansion of event criteria to include both new and established patient office visits and home visits, and there will be the removal of allowable exclusion for death prior to the end of the measurement period.

Pre-submission forms are being revised for simplification and will be available mid-October. Final versions of the guides will be available in early November (no changes are anticipated). The portal will open for registration on November 1, 2017.


Retirement of Two Clinical Quality Measures

In June 2017, MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) recommended the retirement of two quality measures starting in the 2018 report year:

  • Pediatric Preventive Care Overweight Counseling – This is a process measure that is now topped out with a statewide rate of 90%.
  • Maternity Care Cesarean Section Rate – Although Cesarean section rates have increased significantly over the past 20 years and may be medically necessary in many situations, an appropriate target rate is unknown. The statewide Cesarean section rate of 22% (lower is better) is 3.5 percentage points below the national rate of 25.7% and the statewide rate has been flat for more than three years.

MNCM Gratefully Acknowledges Seminar Sponsors

The MN Community Measurement (MNCM) Annual Seminar takes place September 13 at the Earl Brown Center in Brooklyn Center (Minneapolis). For event details visit the Seminar website at this link.

MNCM thanks the following organizations for sponsoring the Annual Seminar 2017. It is the support and generosity of these individuals and organizations that support this important quality measurement event.

Gold Sponsors
  • Allina Health
  • Essentia Health
  • HealthPartners Care Group
  • Medica
  • Minnesota Association of County Health Plans
Silver Sponsors
  • Lynn Hassan Jones, MD
  • CentraCare Health
  • Data IQ
  • Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
  • The Minnesota Health Action Group
  • The Minnesota Hospital Association
  • PreferredOne
Bronze Sponsors
  • The American Cancer Society Minnesota
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • UCare

For more information on these sponsors and sponsorship opportunities with the MNCM Annual Seminar, visit the Seminar sponsorship page at


MNCM Announces MIPS/QPP Webinar Aug 17

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) will be hosting a 30 minute webinar on Thursday afternoon, August 17 at 1 p.m. The topic will be an introductory conversation about the upcoming Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

MNCM was recently named a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) and is a CMS-approved entity that collects clinical data on behalf of clinicians for data submission. MNCM is now able to assist clinician group practices in meeting MIPS (formerly PQRS) requirements for the 2017 reporting year. The MNCM QCDR service will seamlessly submit quality measures and improvement activities to CMS.

The webinar is free and those wishing to participate can visit the following link to attend. Please save this link to join the webinar at 1:00 pm on August 17,

The proven MNCM Direct Data Submission (DDS) reporting platform is currently used by clinics and medical groups for state reporting. The MNCM QCDR is an enhancement of the DDS to help you comply with federal MIPS and MACRA requirements. For more details click HERE.


Snapshots Provide Preview of Health Care Quality Report Results

As part of ongoing efforts to communicate health care performance results in a timely and user-friendly way, MNCM has created “snapshots” from the 2017 Cycle A and Cycle B measure reporting periods.

These snapshots include Optimal Diabetes Care, Optimal Vascular Care and Depression Care from Cycle A and Adolescent Mental Health and/or Depression Screening and Overweight Counseling from Cycle B that will be published in the Health Care Quality Report, which is anticipated to be released in January 2018.

This information can be used to aid decision making associated with quality improvement efforts.

In 2017 (2016 Dates of Service), the statewide rate for Optimal Diabetes Care is 45 percent and 62 percent for Optimal Vascular Care. The statewide rate for Depression Remission at Six Months is 8 percent. Overweight Counseling is 90 percent and 73 percent for Adolescent Mental Health and/or Depression Screening. Clinic and medical group level results are publicly reported on our consumer website, The site provides this information in convenient, sortable tables to view, download and/or print.

MNCM appreciates the significant contributions of clinics, medical groups, health plans, hospitals and other professional organizations that provide data to MN Community Measurement. Achieving our mission to accelerate the improvement of health by publicly reporting health care information relies on this collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort. MNCM strives to continue to be the trusted source for performance measurement, data sharing and public reporting locally and nationally.


Minnesota Patients Pleased with Their Providers, Indicate Room for Improvement in Getting Timely Care in 2017 Patient Experience Survey

2017 Patient Experience Survey Results Released

In the nation’s largest and most comprehensive view of patient experience, 81 percent of Minnesota patients gave their health care provider a top rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. Two-thirds (66 percent) of patients said they experienced a top level of access to care, defined as patients who say they were able to get appointments, health care and information when they needed it.

“This information is collected directly from patients and based on their own experiences,” said Julie Sonier, President of MN Community Measurement.

Survey results for 767 clinics, separated into five categories, are included in the 2017 Patient Experience of Care Survey published by MN Community Measurement (MNCM). These clinic level survey results are available for the public online at

“Sharing these results can help patients make quality decisions about their health care and help clinics and medical groups learn what they can do to improve the results,” added Sonier.

The survey measures patient experience in five categories, in terms of whether patients were:

  • getting care when needed (“Access to Care”)
  • receiving coordinated care defined by asking patients how often providers knew their medical history, followed up to give results of tests and asked about prescription medications being taken (“Care Coordination”)
  • satisfied with their provider (“Provider Rating”)
  • experiencing courteous and helpful office staff (“Office Staff”)
  • being listened to and receiving understandable information and instructions (“Provider Communication”)

“Since MNCM unveiled the state’s first patient experience results in 2013, many clinics have used this information to focus on improving experiences for their patients,” said Sonier. “These results are also used to recognize outstanding service and health care satisfaction for clinics and medical groups.”

Though patients are generally reporting positive experience, the latest survey does show significant differences between clinics. Here are some highlights from the survey:

  • 66 percent of respondents said they had top-level Access to Care. Individual clinics have results ranging from 33 to 91 percent.
  • 73 percent of respondents gave their clinic the most positive rating possible when asked about Care Coordination. Across individual clinics, the low score was 49 percent and the high score was 87 percent.
  • 81 percent of respondents gave their provider a top rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point Provider Rating scale. Individual clinics ranged from 46 to 94 percent of providers receiving a top rating.
  • 83 percent of respondents gave the office staff at their clinics top marks for being respectful and helpful. A 35 percentage difference is noted between the highest and lowest rated clinics.
  • 86 percent of respondents described communication from their providers as top-level. Across individual clinics, the low score was 59 percent and the high score was 96 percent.

One clinic, Surgical Consultants in Edina, MN ranked in the top 15 performers across 4 of 5 survey categories. Three clinics, Gunderson Health System in La Crescent, MN, Minnesota Oncology in Fridley, MN and Essentia Health Pillager Clinic in Pillager, MN ranked in the top 15 performers across 3 of 5 survey categories. For additional information on top performers, click here.

Results by Region

A regional analysis, based on the patient’s zip code, shows that among the five categories, patients in Northeast Minnesota rated all five categories significantly above the statewide average. Conversely, patients in Minneapolis rated all five categories significantly below the statewide average. Patients in the Twin Cities area are less satisfied with Care Coordination as this category was rated significantly below the statewide average for patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, West Metro and East Metro.

Further analysis of the five categories within the 2017 Patient Experience of Care Survey examining race, ethnicity and region will be published in the forthcoming Health Equity of Care Report scheduled to be released by MNCM in December 2017.

About the Survey

Results are from the more than 180,000 patient-completed surveys on patient experience of care, known as the Clinician & Group Surveys Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS® 3.0) survey. This is the third time that MNCM has conducted the Patient Experience of Care Survey. Twenty-nine percent of the patients surveyed responded, which is a similar response rate compared to previous years. Although the survey was completed previously in 2013 and 2015, trending and direct comparisons to previous year results are not recommended due to modifications to the questionnaire.

The data are collected as part of Minnesota’s Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System. The Minnesota Department of Health partners with MNCM to collect the data, and MNCM reports results on Individual clinics are also given access to more detailed analysis on their survey results to see where they are performing well, and identify areas for improvement. A small number of clinics in border communities in Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin that see Minnesota patients also chose to voluntarily submit results to MNCM.

About Us

MN Community Measurement is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health by publicly reporting health care information. A trusted source of health care data and public reporting on quality, cost and patient experience since 2003, MNCM works with medical groups, health plans, employers, consumers and state agencies to spur quality improvement, reduce health care costs and maximize value. Learn more at