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

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 http://mncm.org/copd2018/ for more details.

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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 MNHealthScores.org, 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.

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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.

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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.

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Wishing a Happy Retirement to Tina Frontera

With gratitude, MN Community Measurement (MNCM) bids farewell and best wishes to Chief Operating Officer Tina Frontera. Tina announced her retirement earlier this year, effective at the end of 2017.

The MNCM Board of Directors made a special presentation acknowledging Tina’s more than five years of leadership and service at the December 13, 2017 board meeting. A joyous celebration of her MNCM colleagues was held in December for staff to share their stories and fond memories with Tina.

“I have had the honor of working alongside Tina for many years,” said MNCM Health Economist Gunnar Nelson. “Her creativity, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness has always made wherever we worked a better place.”

In October, Frontera was succeeded by Liz Cinqueonce in the Chief Operating Officer role. Frontera served MNCM as a Senior Consultant during the final months of 2017.

From all of us at MNCM, best wishes Tina!

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MNCM Seeking Medical Group Testing Participants for COPD Measure Development

Indicate Interest by 02/28/2018

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.

The measure was developed by a MNCM-convened, multi-stakeholder COPD Measure Development Workgroup, which completed the development of measure specifications in November 2016.

Measure Description:

The percentage of patients aged 50 – 80 years whose self-reported impact of COPD on their health status was low, stable or improved, as determined by the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) or Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ). For more details, view Controlling the Impact of COPD on Health Status Measure and Field Specifications.

Family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine and pulmonology practices that care for patients with COPD are encouraged to participate in the pilot. There are many benefits to participating in a pilot project, including but not limited to: implementation of PRO tools into clinical workflows and electronic record systems, providing feedback for the modification of measure specifications, the ability to have baseline data prior to wide-spread implementation, and the opportunity to gain experience in the measurement activity. Eligible medical groups will be compensated for the pilot– up to $2,000 after execution of contract, and up to $8,000 after successful data submission.

In order to have a representative and informative pilot, we need groups to volunteer to participate! Pilot dates of service start April 1, 2018.

Participation is voluntary, and all results used to analyze the measure’s performance and feasibility will be shared with pilot participants, blinded and not publicly reported.

If you are interested in potentially serving as a test site, please complete this brief survey.  We will review the survey responses to help us select eligible practices.

If you have questions, please contact Tony Weldon at weldon@mncm.org or 612-454-4810. We look forward to working with you!

About this Project

MNCM is leading this measure development project with support from the National Quality Forum (NQF) Measure Incubator™. GlaxoSmithKline, a global leader in respiratory disease, is collaborating with the Measure Incubator as the sponsor of the project. See the NQF website to learn more about the Measure Incubator’s current work.

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Minnesota Earns “A” Grade for Quality Measurement Transparency

Minnesota is one of only three states that earned an “A” grade for transparency of physician quality measures in a recent report by Altarum’s Center for Payment Innovation and Catalyst for Payment Reform. Along with Washington and California, Minnesota earned an “A” grade for quality transparency that is based on the following criteria: independent and impartial; data are freely available; data are timely; data are available on large numbers of providers; quality measures used are meaningful; and information is easily found and understood by consumers.

The report also ranks states on price transparency, based on whether the state has a law requiring price transparency. Two states (Maine and New Hampshire) earned an “A” on this ranking. Although Minnesota does not have a law requiring a price transparency website, the pricing information that MNCM makes available through MNHealthScores.org is comparable to what is being published through those state-mandated websites.

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