Minnesota Health Care Performance in 2020 Reflects Pandemic Challenges

New Online Tool Allows Easier Comparisons Across Medical Groups

Statewide performance on many measures of health care quality declined in 2020, according to a new report from MN Community Measurement. The Minnesota Health Care Quality Report: Results for Care Delivered in 2020 is a comprehensive summary that includes statewide and medical group performance on measures for preventive care, care for chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, depression care, and other measures.

The most recent results come from data reported to MNCM in 2021, covering services received by patients in 2020. Report highlights include:

  • There continues to be significant variation in performance across medical groups. For many measures, the gap between scores of the lowest and highest performing medical groups is more than 50 percentage points. 
  • Statewide performance fell for most measures in 2020, likely a reflection of significant disruptions in care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures showing the largest declines in statewide performance were Controlling High Blood Pressure (-12.2 percentage points), Osteoporosis Management in Women Who Had a Fracture (-11.4 percentage points) and PHQ-9/PHQ-9M Utilization for Adults (-8.8 percentage points).
  • Recovery from the impacts of the pandemic will require outreach to patients who missed important preventive care or chronic disease care, along with concerted efforts to fill gaps in data that are needed for ongoing follow-up and management of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and depression.

“The declines in most measures that we saw for 2020 were not surprising, given the challenges faced during the pandemic,” said Julie Sonier, MNCM President and CEO. “It remains to be seen how fast Minnesota’s health care system will recover, but we know that some of the impacts of the pandemic such as workforce challenges are likely to be felt for years to come.”

The report includes performance data for approximately 150 medical groups that operate about 1,000 clinics in Minnesota and border communities in neighboring states. A new online Dynamic Tables reporting tool makes it easier to compare, filter, and sort data included in the report by medical group. Because of pandemic-related disruptions to care delivery and operations in 2020, MNCM chose not to publish results for individual clinics this year. Clinic-level public reporting will resume with 2021 performance data. The Dynamic Tables reporting tool includes data for 2019 and 2020 and can be accessed at https://www.mncm.org/dynamictables/.

This year, MNCM’s Health Care Quality Reporthighlights ten medical groups that achieved above-average performance on at least 50 percent of the measures that were applicable for them. These groups are:

  • Child and Teen Medical Center
  • Entira Family Clinics
  • Essentia Health
  • HealthPartners Clinics
  • Lakewood Health System
  • Mankato Clinic, Ltd.
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Westfields Hospital and Clinic

Importance of Measurement

Measuring and reporting health care quality helps consumers understand how care varies across providers, allows providers to identify improvement opportunities and how their measures compare to others, and helps health plans and other purchasers better understand and improve value for money that is spent on health care.

“Minnesota is quite unique in the capabilities that we’ve built to measure and report on health care outcomes,” said Sonier. “Having a common set of priorities and common set of data have been huge assets to our state in focusing efforts to drive improvement.”

About MN Community Measurement MN Community Measurement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering health care decision makers with meaningful data to drive improvement. A trusted source of health care data since 2005, MNCM works with doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and state agencies to collect, analyze, and report health care data related to quality, cost, and equity of health care. Learn more at www.mncm.org.