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

Spine and Total Knee Measures Redesign – MNCM Seeking Workgroup Members

MNCM is seeking workgroup members to participate in a focused measure redesign of the lumbar spine surgery and total knee replacement measures.

The workgroup’s scope of redesign will include changes to:

  • The measure construct to allow benchmarking capabilities (TKR and Spine)
  • Expanding the denominator definition for the discectomy/ laminotomy population (Spine)

Deadline for nominations for workgroup members is Friday, March 2, 2018. It is anticipated that this work will be completed in one or two meetings starting in the spring of 2018.

Due to attrition over time, we are recruiting for a variety of members in both workgroups. Preference for the selection of workgroup members for redesign activities will be based on active involvement in MNCM data submission and public reporting of these measures.

We are currently seeking participants to represent the following stakeholder groups:

  • Clinicians/surgeons who provide care or perform procedures for lumbar spine surgery or total knee replacement (Orthopedics and Neurosurgery)
    • Additionally seeking a workgroup chair for the Total Knee Replacement workgroup
  • Data analyst
  • Quality improvement professional
  • Practice or facility administrator
  • Health plan representative
  • State agency – MDH/DHS
  • Consumer or consumer advocate
  • Employers or other group purchasers

To nominate yourself or another individual, please complete this form. If nominating someone other than yourself, your nomination will generate an invitation to complete the self-nomination process. In the Active Workgroup section, please indicate if you are interested in the Spine or Total Knee Replacement workgroup.

Learn more about MNCM’s measure development process and the expectations of workgroup participants.

Thank you for your interest!

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Deadline Extended for COPD Pilot Participant Signup

MN Community Measurement (MNCM), in conjunction with the National Quality Forum (NQF), is seeking interested family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine and pulmonology practices for participation in our new pilot “Controlling the Impact of COPD on Health Status.” Please take this short survey to help determine pilot eligibility and you will be contacted appropriately. Eligible medical groups will be compensated for their pilot participation.

Please email Tony Weldon (weldon@mncm.org) with any questions.

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Blood Pressure Component Redesign – MNCM Seeking Workgroup Members

MNCM is seeking workgroup members to participate in a focused measure redesign of the blood pressure component for the Optimal Diabetes Care and Optimal Vascular Care measures. The workgroup’s scope of redesign will include potential changes to:

  • The blood pressure component < 140/90 in light of recent updated guidelines
  • The use of ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and home blood pressure monitoring (HBP)

Deadline for nominations for workgroup members is Friday, February 16, 2018.

New guidelines for the prevention, detection, evaluation and management of high blood pressure were published in November 2017 by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA). These guidelines recommend lower systolic (<130) and diastolic (<80) treatment targets for patients with hypertension as well as those with high risk conditions such as diabetes and ischemic vascular disease. Moving to a new blood pressure target is not necessarily a straightforward change as there are conflicting guidelines and disagreement among providers and specialty societies. The American Academy of Family Practice has formally declined the endorsement of the new guidelines citing concerns with methodology and perceived conflicts of interest.

We are seeking to convene a multi-stakeholder workgroup with a balance of provider specialties and health care organizations to help us evaluate these new guidelines. Preference will be given to clinicians whose patients are included in these measures. It is anticipated that this work will be completed in one or two meetings starting in March 2018.

We are currently seeking participants to represent the following stakeholder groups:

  • Clinicians who provide care to patients with diabetes or ischemic vascular disease (IVD)
    (Internal or Family Medicine, Cardiology, Endocrinology and Nephrology)
  • Data analyst
  • Quality improvement professional
  • Practice or facility administrator
  • Health plan representative
  • State agency – MDH/DHS
  • Consumer or consumer advocate representing the interests of patients with diabetes or IVD
  • Employers or other group purchasers

To nominate yourself or another individual, please complete this form. If nominating someone other than yourself, your nomination will generate an invitation to complete the self-nomination process.

Learn more about MNCM’s measure development process and the expectations of workgroup participants.

Thank you for your interest!

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Call for Presentations: Annual Seminar

DEADLINE: Monday, April 30, 2018

MNCM is seeking your stories of success and challenges in improving the health of patients through measurement and data. New this year, this call for presentations is your opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned, achievements and future plans at our annual seminar in September.

Presentation Focus Areas:

  • Effective strategies to improve health equity and reduce disparities
  • Advancing quality through collaboration and effective use of data in rural communities
  • Leveraging performance data to target interventions and improve quality
  • Leveraging cost data to inform strategies for advancing affordability

The seminar’s format includes keynote speakers, plenary panels and breakout sessions with quality measurement experts both locally and nationally. There is also the ability to network with colleagues in health care quality. Past seminars have totaled over 300 attendees.

Seminar Target Audience:

  • Health care organizations and clinicians working in patient quality
  • Employer groups working to improve the health of their employees through measurement and data
  • Community collaboratives working in quality and equity
  • Purchasers who use quality data for P4P program
  • National health policy makers
  • State and federal health agencies

Abstract Information:

  • Include your name, credentials, title, organization, email address and phone number
  • Provide a brief description of your presentation including how it relates to the focus areas above
  • Describe your presentation learning objectives for attendees

Applicants will be notified by early May 2018.

Submit your application here.

Submitters whose presentations are selected will be offered to present at a breakout session or be part of a panel discussion based on seminar openings. Presenters/panel members will be offered a complimentary registration to the seminar and must complete a Conflict of Interest form.

Please direct questions to info@mncm.org. Deadline to submit proposals is Monday, April 30, 2018.

About MNCM’s Annual Seminar:

MN Community Measurement’s Annual Seminar presents the most relevant topics in health care quality, measurement and improvement through meaningful keynote speakers, substantial panel discussions and worthwhile breakout sessions.

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Equity Report Highlights Continued Gaps in Health Care Outcomes in Minnesota

A new report from MN Community Measurement (MNCM) provides a unique source of information on disparities in health care outcomes by race, ethnicity, language and country of origin.

The report includes data for 12 measures reported to MNCM in 2017 with analysis at the statewide, regional and medical group levels, and features interviews that highlight efforts to reduce the gaps in outcomes especially for populations of color in Minnesota.

“Our data show that outcomes for chronic disease and preventive care screening rates vary substantially by race, ethnicity, language and country of origin,” said Julie Sonier, MNCM President. “It is important to highlight these differences so that we can raise awareness, focus resources on reducing these inequities and track progress.”

New in the 2017 Health Equity of Care Report is trending information on the Colorectal Cancer Screening measure. The statewide colorectal cancer screening rate was 70 percent in 2014 and 73 percent in 2017. Examined by race, ethnicity, preferred language and country of origin, colorectal cancer screening is trending up for most groups. The largest increase was among patients whose preferred language is Spanish; for this group, the screening rate increased from 44 percent in 2014 to 54 percent in 2017. This represents over 2,200 more Spanish-speaking people in Minnesota getting screened for colorectal cancer.

Much of this progress can be attributed in part to local and national coordinated efforts by primary care clinicians, community organizers, cancer coalitions and others – all focusing on a shared public health goal of reaching an ambitious 80 percent screening rate for colorectal cancer. The National Colorectal Cancer Screening Roundtable leads this effort with a strong emphasis on health equity. In fact, Hispanics are a priority audience due to their low screening rates and African Americans are a priority audience due to their high incidence of colorectal cancer. One of the key messages that resonates with these audiences is that there are several screening options available, including simple take-home options. They are also encouraged to talk with their doctor about getting screened.

“It is good news that we’re making gains in colorectal cancer screening rates for most groups,” said Sonier. “However, we still have large disparities between groups that indicate the need for sustained efforts to reduce the gaps.”

The 2017 report also includes survey data that show variations in patient experience across population groups. One finding is that African American patients rated their experiences above average in four out of five patient experience categories, yet had below average results for five out of seven clinical quality measures. In contrast, despite mostly higher than average clinical quality measure outcomes, Asian patients evaluated their experience of care below the statewide average in all five categories.

“These differences highlight the fact that health care quality is multidimensional,” said Sonier. “It’s hard to know exactly why patient experience and clinical quality diverge for some population groups, but it’s our goal that these data will be used by health care providers and others to better understand the gaps and identify opportunities for improvement.”

The report includes several stories highlighting ways that these data are being used for improvement.

MNCM’s data by race, ethnicity, language and country of origin are a valuable resource that resulted from years of collaborative work to define these elements and validate best practices for collecting them. The report features information on seven clinical quality measures:

  • Adolescent Mental Health and/or Depression Screening
  • Pediatric Preventive Care: Overweight Counseling
  • Optimal Diabetes Care
  • Optimal Vascular Care
  • Optimal Asthma Care for Adults
  • Optimal Asthma Care for Children
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening

The patient experience ratings include the following five categories, in terms of whether patients:

  • Got care when needed (“Access to Care”)
  • Received understandable information and instructions (“Provider Communication”)
  • Received coordinated care defined by how often providers knew patient’s medical history, gave results of tests and asked about medications (“Care Coordination”)
  • Experienced courteous and helpful office staff (“Office Staff”)
  • Were satisfied with their provider (“Provider Rating”)

The fourth annual Health Equity of Care Report is at www.mncm.org/health-equity-of-care-report

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 MNCM.org and MNHealthScores.org.

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MNCM’s Sonier on MPR with Kerri Miller

Julie Sonier, President of MN Community Measurement (MNCM), was the featured guest and fielded questions from callers during the January 10, 2018 edition of MPR News with Kerri Miller, a live call in radio program broadcast statewide on the stations of Minnesota Public Radio.

The cost of health care, with insight from MNCM, was the featured topic. Discussion began with a focus on a recently released report from the Minnesota Department of Health noting wide variation in the cost of certain medical procedures. The report, as Sonier noted, is similar yet different from “average cost per procedure” data produced and published annually by MNCM and posted online for the public to see at MNHealthScores.org.

The wide ranging, 60-minute discussion covered cost of specific procedures, reimbursement, health insurance and calls from listeners including numerous physicians. Want to hear the program? Click here to listen to the entire conversation.

“We sometimes focus too much on cost alone and we need to look at the bigger picture,” said Sonier.

“We need to look at Total Cost of Care and quality measurement to assess both the quantity and quality of health care services in addition to the price or cost of care,” added Sonier.

Read about this and other topics discussed on the daily radio program, MPR News with Kerri Miller, at this link https://www.mprnews.org/topic/kerri-miller

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Matthias Joins MN Community Measurement Board

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce Mark Matthias, MD, as its newest board member. Dr. Matthias is a physician at CentraCare Health in St. Cloud, MN where he serves as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Acute Care Division.

Dr. Matthias trained at the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his residency in Family Practice and Community Health at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN. He has been a physician leader in Mankato, Hutchinson and Willmar prior to joining CentraCare Health in 2011.

Link to MN Community Measurement Board of Directors.

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QCDR Webinars Provide MIPS Information on Your Schedule

MN Community Measurement’s recorded webinars allow you to gain useful insight at a time and location convenient to you and your schedule.

MNCM was asked by both the MediSota and Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative alliances to present a webinar on the MIPS program and specifically MNCM’s Qualified Clinical Data Registry on January 11. The webinar will answer questions and reveal similar information that was previously discussed in MNCM’s prior two public QCDR Webinars. View the previous MNCM webinars under the “learn more” section of the QPP/MIPS page at this link.

MIPS submissions are due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 31! Please act now if you are interested in working with MNCM on this important submission.

Contact Tony Weldon at Weldon@mncm.org for registration and other information.

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