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

Applications Sought for the Measurement and Reporting Committee

MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) has an opening for a new member effective immediately.

A member is being sought for the following positions:

♦  Medical Group – Non-Metro (one opening)

This individual will replace someone who resigned from MARC due to retirement. In addition to filling the criteria noted above, other information that will be considered includes measurement and quality improvement experience, race and ethnic diversity and background in nursing or as another member of the care team.

Learn more about MARC membership and the application and nomination process
The Measurement and Reporting Committee (MARC) is a committee of the MNCM Board of Directors with a broad membership of community stakeholders. The committee’s purpose is to recommend measurement priorities and specifications to the Board, and to recommend guiding principles and/or policies for MNCM’s public reporting of measures. The MARC is supported by measure development work groups established by MNCM staff at the direction of the MARC. Work groups are charged with recommending draft measurement specifications and data collection plans.

MNCM is very interested in recruiting new members, so a variety of community stakeholders are represented and have an opportunity to serve on this important committee.

This committee meets monthly. Members are required to attend and actively participate in at least 75 percent of meetings. In-person attendance is encouraged to facilitate the best group dynamic, and phone conference attendance is available. Each member serves a two-year term, and has a three-term limit. MARC members may also be asked to serve on a Measure Development Work Group.

Please email this application to Anne Snowden; MNCM Director of Performance Measurement, Validation and Reporting, at snowden@mncm.org by the close of business on Friday, April 14, 2017.

After the application nomination period has closed, MNCM staff will convene a committee to review nominations and appoint the new member with a goal to appoint the new member by the end of April, after which all nominees and the person selected as a new member will be notified.

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Registration Open for MNCM Annual Seminar 2017

Join your colleagues in quality measurement, quality improvement, patient care, cost containment and a diverse network of health and community leaders for a day of educational speakers and meaningful discussions at the MN Community Measurement (MNCM) Annual Seminar 2017.

Measuring the Path to Better Outcomes, the MNCM Annual Seminar 2017, will take place on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Conference Center, just north of Minneapolis in Brooklyn Center. Session and featured speaker details coming soon.

Registration
Early registration rate is $275.00 (REGISTER TODAY!)
Standard registration rate increases after July 14, 2017 to $325.00.

We hope to see you September 13!

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March 15 Deadline for 2017 Health Information Technology (HIT) Ambulatory web survey

The 2017 Health Information Technology (HIT) Ambulatory web survey is closing March 15, 2017. This survey is an annual reporting requirement established in the Minnesota Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System by the Minnesota Department of Health. All Minnesota physician clinics must complete the HIT Ambulatory Clinic Survey annually.

Instructions for completing the survey were sent by email on February 15. MNCM has also posted a PDF version of the survey in two locations: under the “Resources” tab in the Data Portal and on the MNCM website at mncm.org/submitting-data/provider-tools/#online-resources (Submitting Data, Provider Tools, then Online Resources). To reduce data entry time, MNCM highly recommends that respondents gather all responses on a paper copy prior to web entry.  Please note that due to required survey settings, respondents cannot start a web survey entry and then “resume” at a later date. The survey must be completed in one sitting.

Additionally, here is the link to the web survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HITSurvey2017

To comply with state requirements, please complete the web survey as soon as possible.

Contact MNCM support staff at support@mncm.org or 612-746-4522 with any questions.

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Hassan Jones Joins MN Community Measurement Board

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce Lynn Hassan Jones, MD, as its newest board member. Dr. Hassan Jones is a physician, board certified in diagnostic radiology with musculoskeletal fellowship training, and is Co-Director of MRI at Mankato Clinic in Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato Clinic is a physician-owned multispecialty clinic recently celebrating its 100th year anniversary.

In more than 20 years of medical practice, she has worked in both rural and urban settings in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dr. Hassan Jones served a three year term on University of Minnesota Medical School Admissions Committee and has served on the University of Minnesota Medical School interview and scholarship committees and on the Health Disparities Committee of the Minnesota Medical Association.

A lifelong resident of Minnesota, Dr. Hassan Jones was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College in Saint Paul and the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. She is a member of the American College of Radiology, Radiologic Society of North America and Minnesota Radiologic Society.

Outside of her time at Mankato Clinic, Dr. Hassan Jones splits her time between Minnesota and Champaign, Illinois where her husband Robert Jones, PhD, is currently serving as Chancellor of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Together they have five children and three grandchildren.

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Vaughn Joins MN Community Measurement Board

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce Melissa Vaughn as its newest board member. Vaughn is Director of Employee Health & Wellness for The Schwan Food Company. Her role includes overseeing strategy, design and implementation of the Employee Health & Wellness program for 12,000 employees and their families. The Schwan Food Company has been recognized numerous times for its health and wellness efforts. The company was named as one of the “Healthiest Employers of the Twin Cities Area” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and ComPsych recognized the company as a Silver Award winner of the 8th Annual Health at Work Awards. The company was also named a finalist in Minnesota Business Magazine’s Leaders in Health Care Awards for Worksite Wellness Programming.

Vaughn also serves on the Wellness & Human Performance Center Advisory Council for Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota.

Vaughn received her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Northern Colorado.

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MNCM Application to Become CMS Registry under Initial Review: Would Assist in MIPS Quality Payment Programs

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) has submitted an application to become a Qualified Clinical Data Registry with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The application is in the initial review status that is standard for this type of application.

Presently, submitting to MNCM has allowed clinicians to attest they are meeting some of their CMS meaningful use requirements. With some modifications to our system, making this transition as a MIPS registry is feasible and a natural next step.

MNCM has several measures that are NQF endorsed and currently used in Federal programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System. Several MNCM developed measures have a CMS QPP (Quality Payment Program) number and can be used locally and nation-wide. Additionally, data elements from the Diabetes (A1C) and Vascular (Ischemic IVD) measures also have a QPP number. A complete list of MNCM measures with their corresponding QPP numbers can be viewed at this link: mncm.org/mncm-becoming-a-cms-registry-to-assist-in-mips-quality-payment-programs

MNCM is pleased with the progress made so far, and will be providing further detail regarding the registry process and programmatic details. Stay tuned!

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Health Care Quality Report Shows Increases in Teen Mental Health Screening and Immunizations for Adolescents

Health Care Quality Report Shows Increases in Teen Mental Health Screening and Immunizations for Adolescents

The number of Minnesota teens receiving a mental health screening increased between 2015 and 2016. Likewise, the number of Minnesota adolescents receiving recommended immunizations also increased from the previous year. These findings, and results of more than 30 individual clinical quality measures, are part of a new report published March 2 by MN Community Measurement (MNCM).

The annual MNCM Health Care Quality Report, now in its 13th edition, compares clinic, medical group and hospital performance on clinical measures related to preventive and chronic care, hospital care and health information technology. An objective of the Health Care Quality Report is to provide reliable information to support medical group quality improvement. An equally important objective is greater health care transparency by sharing results with the public at-large.

The report is at www.mncm.org/health-care-quality-report

“This report provides valid and reliable information to help consumers make informed decisions about their health care,” said Jim Chase, MNCM President. “This report also contains actionable, reliable and comparable information for providers to use in their efforts to improve patient care and outcomes.”

Examples of Health Care Quality Report results:

  • The statewide screening rate for Teen Mental Health Screening increased from 40 percent in 2015 to 64 percent in 2016. This is a 24 percentage point increase in adolescent patients receiving mental health and/or depression screening at a well-child visit. This means that 64 out of 100 youth ages 12 through 17 were screened for depression and other mental health conditions at their well child exams. The Teen Mental Health Screening measure notes how many patients age 12 through 17 were screened for social, emotional and behavioral disorders by their primary care provider at a well-child visit.
  • The statewide rate for Immunizations for Adolescents increased from 75 percent in 2015 to 85 percent in 2016. This is a 10 percentage point increase in adolescents receiving immunization. This means 85 of 100 adolescents had their meningococcal and either Tdap or Td vaccines by their 13th birthday. This measure is calculated both on a statewide basis as noted above, and also an average of all medical groups reporting. The rate of Immunizations for Adolescents by all reporting medical groups, and reported on MNHealthScores.org, is 87 percent. The Immunizations for Adolescents measure shows how well Minnesota health care providers performed in keeping adolescents current on meningococcal (meningitis) and either Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) or Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccines.

“These results show that when Minnesota providers focus on a particular area, there can be a substantial positive impact,” said Chase.

Additional Health Care Quality Report key results

Two clinical measures showed noticeable improvement in their statewide rates:

  • Pediatric Preventive Care: Overweight Counseling – The statewide rate increased from 85 percent in 2015 to 89 percent in 2016.
  • Optimal Asthma Control – Adults – The statewide rate increased from 52 percent in 2015 to 55 percent in 2016.

Thirteen other clinical measures showed some small improvements in their statewide rates. Measures with increases or noted improvement include Childhood Immunization Status (Combo 3); Chlamydia Screening in Women; Appropriate Testing for Children with Pharyngitis; Appropriate Treatment for Children with Upper Respiratory Infections; Colorectal Cancer Screening; Breast Cancer Screening; Use of Spirometry Testing in the Assessment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Follow-up Care for Children Prescribed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Medication; Total Knee Replacement pre-op and post-op; Spinal Surgery Discectomy/Laminotomy Functional Status; Spinal Surgery Discectomy/Laminotomy pre-op and post-op; Spinal Surgery Lumbar Fusion pre-op and post-op and Maternity Care: C-Section Rate.

Six medical groups achieved rates that were above average for a cluster of primary care measures. Julie Gerndt, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at Mankato Clinic and was not surprised that Mankato Clinic was among the high performing medical groups across Minnesota.

“We expected to do well based on the commitment we made as an organization several years ago to redesign our care model for better patient outcomes,” said Dr. Gerndt. “That work is paying off.”

Park Nicollet Health, HealthPartners Clinics, Mankato Clinic, Stillwater Medical Group, Fairview Health Services and Allina Health each achieved above-average rates on at least half of the primary care clinical measures.

“These results validate that if you keep working at this over time and make it a priority, you can have an impact,” said Dr. Gerndt.

The Health Care Quality Report is organized for ease of use to both the clinician and the public at-large. The report contains easy to read tables for specific conditions or procedures, grouped by large and moderate improvement, increase or decrease. Trends are noted where a trend exists. More than 300 medical groups and 1,600 clinics are registered to submit data to MNCM. The annual Health Care Quality Report is a compilation of all measures publicly reported by MNCM during the year. Individual medical group results are also available year-round at MNHealthScores.org.

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.

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2017 Health Information Technology (HIT) Ambulatory web survey opens February 15

The 2017 Health Information Technology (HIT) Ambulatory web survey opens February 15, 2017. This survey is an annual reporting requirement established in the Minnesota Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) through Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4654. All Minnesota physician clinics must complete the 2017 HIT Ambulatory Clinic Survey between February 15, 2017 and March 16, 2017.

MNCM will post a PDF version of the survey in two locations: under the “Resources” tab in the Data Portal and on the MNCM website at http://mncm.org/submitting-data/provider-tools/#online-resources (Submitting Data, Provider Tools, then Online Resources). To reduce data entry time, MNCM highly recommends that respondents gather all responses on a paper copy prior to web entry.  Please note that due to required survey settings, respondents cannot start a web survey entry and then “resume” at a later date. The survey must be completed in one sitting.

Results from the survey are used by MDH, MN e-Health Initiative, MNCM and others to report the status and use of electronic health records, health information exchange, and other health information technology across Minnesota.

Physician clinics will receive an email communication from MNCM with a link to the web version survey in mid-February. Those with questions can contact Dina Wellbrock of MNCM at mailto:wellbrock@mnc.organd (612) 454-4829.

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MNCM Measure Re-Endorsed by NQF

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed four measures related to cardiovascular conditions. Six measures were evaluated against NQF’s endorsement criteria. Among the four measures that received endorsement was the Optimal Vascular Care (OVC) composite measure from MN Community Measurement. Of the endorsed measures, one was a new measure and MNCM’s OVC measure was among three that were re-endorsed. A complete list of NQF cardiovascular measures can be viewed on the project page.

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First-in-the-Nation Health Care Cost Comparison Highlights How Minnesota Compares to Other Regions

A first-ever comparison of what commercial insurers are paying for healthcare in different regions shows wide variation in spending. This report is valuable as a first attempt to compare costs across regions.

The report from the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), a national organization of local groups working to improve healthcare, analyzed spending by commercial health insurance plans in five different regions nationwide (Utah, Maryland, St. Louis, Minnesota and Oregon). Analysts found a $1,080 yearly difference in the amount plans spend, on average, per enrollee, with a high of $369 per-enrollee-per-month in Minnesota and a low of $279 in Maryland.

“Identifying regional differences in healthcare costs is important because high costs are depleting family budgets. Entire communities pay the price as money that could go to schools, housing and other needs are instead eaten up by healthcare costs. This information will enable physicians to identify cost drivers, address them, and get better outcomes. This enables a transformation in healthcare delivery, enabling better care decisions while potentially saving individuals, employers and other private payers hundreds of millions of dollars.” Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of NRHI

Regional variation on medical spending has long been shown to exist in the Medicare market, but differences in the amount commercial insurers pay for care has been difficult to decipher, because multiple insurance plans participate in a single market.  This project was important as a technical learning opportunity about how to standardize reporting across regions.

The data within the report are detailed in From Claims to Clarity: Deriving Actionable Healthcare Cost Benchmarks from Aggregated Commercial Claims Data, which was developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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