"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

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

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


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.


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 for registration and other information.


MNCM Seeks Medical Groups for COPD Measure Pilot

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) is seeking volunteers to participate in the pilot testing of a new measure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—Controlling the Impact of COPD on Health Status.

Pilot testing focuses on the development and testing of a patient reported outcome (PRO) performance measure.

Family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine and pulmonology practices that care for patients with COPD are encouraged to participate in the pilot.

Eligible medical groups will be compensated for their pilot participation.

Please see for more details.


Cycle C Snapshot Results Available

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

This snapshot is a summary of the Cycle C information that will be published in the Health Care Quality Report, which is anticipated to be released in early 2018. Measures in the Cycle C Snapshot include Optimal Asthma Control – Adults, Optimal Asthma Control – Children, Colorectal Cancer Screening and Maternity Care: Cesarean Section Rate.

Click here for the Cycle C Measures Snapshot link.

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

In 2017 (Dates of service July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017), the statewide rate for Optimal Asthma Control – Adults was 49 percent and 57 percent for Optimal Asthma Control – Children. The statewide rate for Colorectal Cancer Screening was 73 percent. For the Maternity Care: Cesarean Section Rate measure, where a lower rate can indicate better quality care, the statewide rate was 23 percent.

The Cycle C Snapshot includes links to measure results on, a table of the top medical groups by performance on Cycle C measures and information on where to access helpful provider and patient tools.

MNCN appreciate 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.


Zimmerman Joins MN Community Measurement Board

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce Marie Zimmerman has joined the Board of Directors.

Zimmerman has devoted more than a decade to public-sector health care in Minnesota, spearheading critical reforms and innovations that have been watched and emulated nationally. Appointed Minnesota’s Medicaid Director in 2014, Marie oversees the strategic policy direction and the core business functions of Medicaid and the Basic Health Program (BHP), called MinnesotaCare. The combined budgets of Medicaid and MinnesotaCare topped $11.5 billion in 2016 and provide health coverage to one in five Minnesotans, delivering health care, behavioral health services and long-term services and supports to more than one million people.

During Zimmerman’s tenure, the state has saved more than $1.5 billion through managed care reform and purchasing innovations. Savings include $213 million related to improved health outcomes for Medicaid enrollees through an accountable care model called Integrated Health Partnerships; a collaborative, patient-focused approach to delivering care while lowering cost. In addition, Zimmerman managed a successful Basic Health Program that provides affordable and comprehensive coverage for lower-income Minnesotans who do not qualify for Medicaid. Prior to her service as Medicaid Director, she acted as health care policy director for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she led early efforts to reform health care purchasing for Medicaid, moving the state toward a pay-for-value model.

Zimmerman is a recipient of the Women in Health Care Leadership Award from Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. She serves on the boards of the National Academy for State Health Policy and the National Association of Medicaid Directors. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

Link to MN Community Measurement Board of Directors.


Christianson Joins MN Community Measurement Board

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce Jon Christianson has joined the Board of Directors. Christianson received his PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is on the faculty of the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and has held the James A. Hamilton Chair in Health Policy and Management since 1998. Professor Christianson has authored ten books and more than 200 journal articles and book chapters. He has received the Annual Research Award of the National Institute for Health Care Management and chaired AcademyHealth’s annual research meeting.

Professor Christianson’s recent research has focused on measurement and reporting of provider performance, physician payment arrangements and health care purchasers. He regularly teaches graduate courses on the health care system and on health care purchasers and health insurers. From 1998-2000, Professor Christianson served on the Institute of Medicine committee that produced the report To Err Is Human. More recently, he was a member of the IOM’s Geographic Adjustment Factors in Medicare Payment Committee and served six years on the IOM’s Board on Health Care Services which oversees all IOM health service projects. He currently is Vice-Chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare.

Link to MN Community Measurement Board of Directors.