New Report Shows Decline in Cancer Screenings, Other Health Care Quality Measures

Results Illustrate Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Care Services in 2020

MN Community Measurement (MNCM), an independent nonprofit organization that empowers health care decision makers with meaningful data to drive improvement, has released a new spotlight report that sheds light on key health care quality indicators for 2020.

The report includes results for eleven health care quality measures based on data that MN Community Measurement collects from ten participating health plans. The indicators include measures for cancer screening, immunizations, and management of acute and chronic health conditions. The report compares statewide results for these indicators for 2020 to 2018. Due to data collection interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, data are not available for 2019.

Key findings in the report include the following:

  • Seven of the eleven measures included in the report showed statistically significant declines in performance between 2018 and 2020, with the largest declines for controlling high blood pressure (11.4 percentage points), osteoporosis management for women who have had a fracture (11.4 percentage point decline), and eye exams for patients with diabetes (8.0 percentage points).
  • Of the measures in this report that apply to children, all were statistically stable. This includes immunizations for children before their second birthday, immunizations for adolescents, and follow-up care for children prescribed ADHD medication.

“We expected to see declines in most of these measures, given how we know the pandemic has affected health care,” said Julie Sonier, President and CEO of MN Community Measurement. “Making sure that people catch up on preventive care like cancer screenings and that we’re managing chronic conditions to get the best outcomes is something that will require extra attention after the worst of the pandemic subsides.” 

Importance of Measurement

Measuring and reporting on health care cost and quality is important because it helps consumers know how cost and care vary across providers, and it helps providers to understand how their results compare to others and where their biggest improvement opportunities are. Measuring and reporting also help health plans and other purchasers better understand and improve value for money that is spent on health care. “Minnesota is really unique in the nation in the capabilities we’ve built to measure and report on health care cost, quality, and equity,” said Sonier. “Because we work with all stakeholders and do our work using objective, transparent methods, we’re able to serve as a trusted source of information on health care cost and quality.”

About MN Community Measurement

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) 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 health care quality and cost. Learn more at