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2019 Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) Update

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will not promulgate a Health Care Quality Rule for the 2019 reporting year because there are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for physician clinics and hospitals. In its place, MDH will issue technical guidance in November about any changes measure stewards have made to measure specifications and the removal of several hospital measures to maintain alignment with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements.

In parallel, MDH expects to continue making progress in the development of the legislatively required quality measurement framework that will inform Minnesota’s approach to measurement in the future. MDH will provide a status update to the Legislature this year, continue developing the framework during 2019, and begin the implementation process in 2020.

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Upcoming MNCM Reports

MNCM is launching a new report series this fall, organizing results by measurement focus area. These reports bring together performance results on both quality and health equity for measures relevant in each category.

The series is intended to provide a more in-depth, user-friendly view of measure results that can more effectively draw attention to the wealth of data that MNCM publishes, engage stakeholder audiences more effectively, inform discussions, and catalyze improvement.

The new reports present content more concisely using design, context, and streamlined visual displays. The 2018 series will include reports on the following themes:

  • The first report in the series will be on depression measures, scheduled for release in late October.
  • Other topic reports will focus on chronic and acute conditions, preventive health screenings, and child and adolescent health.
  • MNCM will continue to publish summary reports for cost, quality, health equity, and disparities.
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Reducing the Burden of Data Reporting

Based on provider feedback, internal assessments, and market research, MNCM is in the process of developing a new suite of software to alleviate provider data reporting burden. The new approach will allow MNCM to implement automated data extraction methods with participating providers to retrieve encounter data necessary for measurement. Once encounter data is retrieved, MNCM will be able to apply measurement specifications centrally to determine the appropriate measure denominators and numerators reducing the burden of data reporting for medical groups.

Pilot Testing

MNCM is currently recruiting provider organizations to pilot this approach and expects to begin pilot testing in early 2019. Organizations that are interested in reducing their reporting burden can contact Will Muenchow, Director of Information Technology and Data Integrity, at muenchow@mncm.org.

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Annual Clinic and Provider Registration Opens November 1

The MN Community Measurement (MNCM) Data Portal will open November 1 for annual clinic and provider registration. Every year, all eligible Minnesota clinics and providers are required to register and update their information.

How to Register

To get started, draft instructions are available for download from the MNCM Data Portal Resources tab. If you have not registered with MNCM previously, please request a portal account. Registration is a prerequisite to submitting data for the clinical quality measures in 2019. Although the portal will be open for registration through February 8, 2019, we encourage you to register early.

There are no expected changes to the registration requirements this year. Please stay tuned for communication from MNCM when the portal is officially open. Final instructions and a recorded webinar will be available at that time as well.

MNCM’s New Helpdesk System

MNCM will be implementing a new helpdesk system for data submitters. The new system is being developed and will be launched in November. Data submitters will be able to submit and track questions as well as find answers to common technical questions about MNCM measures – all in one place.

Questions? Please contact MNCM at 612-746-4522 or support@mncm.org.

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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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