MNCM News

"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

Other News and Events

National Affordability Summit logo

As part of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), MNCM invites you to participate in shaping the dialogue about, and solutions to, health care affordability at NRHI’s Annual National Affordability Summit on October 4.

NRHI’s first National Affordability Summit uncovered the reasons health care costs so much and what we can do about it. This year’s event will dig deeper, exploring how three key issues − health, price, and waste − influence affordability. The theme of this year’s summit is “Positive Disruption through Regional Multi-Stakeholder Solutions.”

In-Person Event Information:
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018
Ronald Reagan International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
live event information >>

A live stream will also be available. live stream information >>

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MNCM Board Updates

MNCM has recently welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors – Deb Krause, vice president of the Minnesota Health Action Group, and Mariam Mohmed, an independent consultant who will serve as a consumer representative.

Deb Krause

Deb Krause is vice president of the Minnesota Health Action Group, 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. Deb also represents employers/purchasers on MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC), Measure Review Committee (MRC), and Cost Technical Advisory Committee (TAG), for which she is the 2017/2018 Chair.

Before joining the Health Action Group, Deb was a partner at Hewitt Associates and a principal at Mercer, where she provided strategic guidance to employers for over 25 years. Deb also served as director of social responsibility for UnitedHealth Group where her responsibilities included strategic planning, business unit consulting, measurement and reporting, and program development/management. Deb has been an active volunteer leader with nonprofit health and community organizations for more than 25 years. She is the 2018 Chair of the American Cancer Society’s Minnesota/Dakota Area Board, as well as past national, regional, and local volunteer leadership positions with the American Heart Association. Deb has a B.S. in business administration from Valparaiso University and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Miriam Mohamed

Mariam Mohamed, a new consumer representative on MNCM’s Board of Directors, holds two master’s degrees, one from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and one from California State University, Fresno. Mariam has more than 30 years of board professional experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and public and private organizations. Mariam has worked with more than 30 organizations including international institutions. For the past 18 years Mariam has worked as an independent consultant with an expertise in program start-ups and turnarounds, assessments, plan implementation, strategic planning, and development systems implementations.

Undergirding Mariam’s work is her extensive experience of program analysis and evaluation in the private and nonprofit service arena. In addition to her extensive experience, Mariam is known as a trusted team member and builder of collaborative relationships among government, nonprofit, corporate, and community stakeholders. Mariam is currently serving as a yearly contract consultant for UCare. She is also a co-owner of Hoyo, a company founded on the goal of employing and empowering Somali women. Mariam is a much-called-upon consultant and advisor to government, nonprofit/profit agencies, and local communities.

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Hospital Mortality and Readmission Measures Refreshed on MNHealthScores

MNCM recently refreshed several hospital measures on MNHealthScores:

  • 30-day Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Mortality Rate
  • 30-day Heart Failure (HF) Mortality Rate
  • 30- day Pneumonia Mortality Rate
  • 30-day AMI Readmission Rate
  • 30-day HF Readmission Rate
  • 30-day Pneumonia Readmission Rate
  • 30-day Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Readmission Rate
  • 30-day Total Knee or Hip Replacement Readmission Rate

The mortality measures have been refreshed for the period of April 1, 2014–March 31, 2017; the readmission measures reflect the period July 1, 2014–June 30, 2017 – accessed from data on CMS’s Hospital Compare website.

Hospitals are ranked for each measure compared to the national average. See the results at mnhealthscores.org.

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New MNCM Cancer Care Measures, Symptom Control During Chemotherapy

While asking patients about their symptoms during chemotherapy is not a new concept for oncology care, measuring outcomes related to symptom control is new.
MN Community Measurement is excited to announce the development of new patient-reported outcome measures for the symptom control of nausea, pain and constipation during chemotherapy. The Symptom Control During Chemotherapy (SCDC) measures were successfully tested and approved for widespread implementation in oncology practices across Minnesota and surrounding communities. Implementation of the measures will include 2019 dates of service with data reported in 2020.

Collecting and submitting data for these measures will:

  • Support ongoing patient-centered care;
  • Provide data to help inform understanding of treatment tolerance enabling the continuation of therapy; and
  • Provide outcome rates that will support national endorsement of these measures.

To participate, the most important first step for oncology practices is to begin administration of the patient assessment tool prior to January 1, 2019. The tool needs to be integrated into clinical workflows to capture information reported by patients during Day 5 to 15 of each chemotherapy cycle; measurement occurs for cycles 1, 2 and 3. MNCM has obtained permission from the National Cancer Institute for the use of six individual questions from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) tool.

Educational Information and Resources:

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Annual Seminar “Measurement Matters” Attended by Over 300

More than 300 attendees came together on September 12th at the Earle Brown Center to participate in MNCM’s Annual Seminar. Presentations included: Jan Malcolm, MDH Commissioner; Kevin Larsen, Director of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Planning at CMS; Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and COO of the ABIM Foundation and “Choosing Wisely”; six breakout sessions featuring quality improvement and health care professionals sharing innovative quality improvement tools and practices, cross-sector collaboration efforts, and strategies to advance equity; and speakers from the MDH Sage program, which is advancing cultural competency through the use of International Medical Graduates to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in disparate populations. It was a great day of sharing relevant information and data!

If you attended, please remember to complete the evaluation to provide feedback and request either a CME or attendance certificate here.

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MN Community Measurement and DHS Release Health Care Report Highlighting Disparities

Report compares care delivered to patients with public and private insurance.

MN Community Measurement (MNCM), an independent non-profit organization that collects and reports health care data to drive statewide system improvement, today released the 2017 Health Care Disparities Report with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The report shows significant room for improvement in closing health care gaps for patients enrolled in state health plans.

The Health Care Disparities Report provides health care performance rates for patients enrolled in the managed care component of Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP), including Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. As enrollment in these programs continues to increase, the Health Care Disparities Report helps the state and health care providers identify opportunities to improve health care and health outcomes for people served by state programs. DHS contracts with MNCM to produce the report.

Overall, patients enrolled in MHCP managed care received cancer screenings and immunizations less frequently than Minnesotans who have private or employer-based health insurance. Performance rates and health outcomes for MHCP patients who have asthma, depression or diabetes are also worse than privately insured patients. MHCP patients, when compared with the overall population of the state, are of lower socioeconomic status, include a disproportionate number of persons of color, and often experience barriers to care.

“The latest Health Care Disparities Report calls for community-wide action to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and get the care they need,” said Acting Human Services Commissioner Chuck Johnson. “This is the eleventh year of the report and, over time, statewide gaps in the care delivered to low-income Minnesotans have continued to narrow. We are hopeful that initiatives like the Integrated Health Partnerships – which encourage providers to work with one another and community organizations to address barriers to health – will continue to reduce the disparities identified in this report.”

This annual report reveals considerable disparities, highlighting three measures with the largest gaps – Childhood Immunization Status, Breast Cancer Screening and Colorectal Cancer Screening. The report includes medical group and clinic level results for 11 measures, as well as analysis by race/ethnicity and region.

Childhood Immunizations

Childhood Immunization Status rates, an updated measure this year, had a gap of 23 percentage points between patients with MHCP and other purchasers. This was the largest gap for any measure in this year’s report.

“While we can’t yet see trends for this Childhood Immunization measure, this large gap in childhood immunization rates between MHCP patients and others points to a need for close attention,” said Julie Sonier, MNCM President. “Immunizations by age two are vital to childhood health.”

Vaccination is safe, effective and can protect children from serious illness. Vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, approximately 300 children in the United States die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Eight medical groups had above average Childhood Immunization Status rates for MHCP patients, with HealthEast Clinics having the highest rate at 59 percent.

Disparities in Cancer Screenings

Colorectal Cancer Screening and Breast Cancer Screening also had large gaps in this year’s Health Care Disparities Report. There was a 20 percentage point gap between MHCP adult patients and patients with other insurance for Breast Cancer Screening and a 19 percentage point gap for Colorectal Cancer Screening.

The American Cancer Society website has specific recommendations for cancer screenings and guidelines for early detection of cancer. These cancer measures have had consistent gaps for many years between MHCP patients and patients with other forms of insurance.

Despite the gaps, MHCP patients have seen improved health outcomes in many areas measured since the first Health Care Disparities Report was issued over 10 years ago. Since 2011, for example, nearly 9,700 more MHCP patients have been screened for colorectal cancer.

Medical Group Highlights

There were five medical groups with above average ratings for the MHCP population in all three measures (Childhood Immunization Status, Breast Cancer Screening and Colorectal Cancer Screening):

  • Allina Health
  • CentraCare Health
  • HealthPartners Clinics
  • Mankato Clinic, Ltd.
  • Mayo Clinic

“Progress is being made, but gaps in many of these areas still exist,” said Sonier. “It’s encouraging to see improvements over time. As a community, we all have a role to play in closing these gaps and making sure that disparities between MHCP patients and patients with other types of insurance are diminished.”

For the full list of medical groups and more information on these measures, view the report.

 About the Health Care Disparities Report

In 2016, more than 900,000 Minnesotans received health care coverage through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare programs overseen by the Department of Human Services (DHS). MNCM has partnered with DHS to produce the Health Care Disparities Report since 2007. This report supplies objective, transparent data that can be used to evaluate performance and identify improvement opportunities. View the full report for more information.

About MN Community Measurement

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 MNCM.org.


Contact: Rachel Enerson, Neuger Communications Group

enerson@neuger.com, 612-664-0700 (office) or 507-696-9207 (cell)

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