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

More Depression Patients Received High Quality Care in 2013

More than 7,100 additional depression patients in Minnesota received critical follow up and showed signs of improvement due to treatment between 2012 and 2013, according to new data released by MN Community Measurement.

MNCM published 2013 clinical performance results for depression, diabetes and vascular care on MNHealthScores.com this week. Statewide performance improved across all of these measures during the past year.

Depression Care

The largest increase of patients receiving high-quality care between 2012 and 2013 occurred in depression care. In particular, the statewide average for depression follow-up six months after diagnosis jumped from 28% to 31%, and for follow-up 12 months after diagnosis increased from 22% to 24%.

Follow up is a critical part of depression care and treatment, because depression can cause people to isolate themselves and stop reaching out for care – often when they need it most. This measure looks at how many patients with depression completed a Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) six months and 12 months after their diagnosis. The PHQ-9 is a widely-used, validated tool that asks nine questions about the patient’s concerns and how he or she feels, which helps their provider know if their depression symptoms are under control or if a change in their treatment plan is needed.

The statewide averages for most other depression care measures increased between 2012 and 2013 as well.

  • Depression remission six months after diagnosis increased from 7% to 8%, and 12 months after diagnosis increased slightly but remained at 6%. Remission is defined as patients reporting few to no symptoms of depression – in other words, their depression is under control.
  • Depression response six months after diagnosis increased from 12% to 13%, and 12 months after diagnosis from 9% to 10%. Response is defined as patients reporting half as many symptoms as when they were first diagnosed – in other words, they’re making progress and responding to their treatment plan.
  • Use of the PHQ-9 tool increased two percentage points to 70% of Minnesota clinics.

The number of Minnesota clinics achieving high-quality depression care has steadily increased since these measures were first publicly reported in 2010. The most significant increase during that time has been in use of the PHQ-9 tool, which improved from 54% in 2010 to 70% in 2013.

For more details or to find your clinic, visit the depression care section of MNHealthScores.

Diabetes and Vascular Care

In addition to the continued upward trend on depression care, the overall quality of diabetes and vascular care in Minnesota also improved between 2012 and 2013.

The percentage of Minnesotans receiving optimal diabetes care increased from 38% to 39% statewide. High-quality diabetes care includes hitting these five treatment goals:

  • If the patient’s blood pressure is at target (less than 140/90 mmHg)
  • If the patient’s level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol is at target (less than 100mg/dl)
  • If the patient’s blood sugar (A1c) is at target (less than 8 percent)
  • That the patient is not using tobacco
  • That the patient takes aspirin daily, if appropriate

The number of clinics achieving optimal diabetes care for their patients has been publicly reported since 2007. The statewide average has increased significantly since then, from 14% to 39%.

For more details or to find your clinic, visit the diabetes care section of MNHealthScores.

The percentage of Minnesotans receiving optimal vascular care increased from 49% to 50%. High-quality vascular care includes hitting these four treatment goals:

  • If the patient’s blood pressure is at target (less than 140/90 mmHg)
  • If the patient’s level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol is at target (less than 100mg/dl)
  • That the patient is not using tobacco
  • That the patient takes aspirin daily, if appropriate

The number of clinics achieving optimal vascular care for their patients has been publicly reported since 2008. The statewide average has also increased significantly during that time, from 33% to 50%.

For more details or to find your clinic, visit the vascular care section of MNHealthScores.