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"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

2019 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report

MN Community Measurement is pleased to announce the release of our annual report highlighting health care quality measures for medical groups and clinics in Minnesota.

The “2019 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report” includes data on measures for preventive care, care for chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, depression care, and other measures. An appendix to the report includes detailed quality information for 213 medical groups and 948 clinics in Minnesota and neighboring states, and consumers can also search the data using an interactive tool at www.mnhealthscores.org.

Here are some report highlights:

Encouraging Signs for Depression Care

Rates of depression follow-up care, improvement of symptoms, and remission measured at twelve months all increased significantly compared to last year’s report. While there continues to be large opportunity for improvement, it is encouraging that the needle is starting to move on this important issue. The statewide average for the depression follow-up measure improved to nearly 30 percent, although four medical groups (HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics, Essentia Health, Park Nicollet Health Services, and Entira Family Clinics) achieved rates above 50 percent for this measure.

Two medical groups (HealthPartners Clinics and Park Nicollet Health Services) achieved rates above the statewide average for all eight depression measures included in the report, and an additional four medical groups (Entira Family Clinics, Essentia Health, HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics, and Mankato Clinic) achieved above average rates on seven of the eight measures.

“The MN Community Measurement report is a powerful illustration of how mental health outcomes are significantly lagging behind physical health,” said Deb Krause, Vice President of the Minnesota Health Action Group. “The Mental Health Guiding Coalition formed by The Action Group is one example of how these data will be used to drive collaboration that will identify gaps, disseminate best practices, and drive shared accountability to accelerate improvements in depression care and increase the number of people who are getting better.”

Avoiding Overuse of Antibiotics

When someone takes antibiotics that are not medically necessary, it can cause negative side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. Fortunately, avoiding antibiotic treatment in adults with acute bronchitis, which is a measure aimed at avoiding overuse of antibiotics, improved from 35.8 percent to 45.5 percent, with gains occurring broadly across many medical groups.

Medical groups’ performance on this measure ranged from 9.0 percent to 91.6 percent, indicating that there is substantial room for improvement. The highest performing medical groups for this measure were MinuteClinic, Hutchinson Health, Winona Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, and HealthPartners Clinics. The largest gains in this measure were recorded by Mankato Clinic, CentraCare Health, and Apple Valley Medical Clinic.

New in 2020

New to this year’s public reporting by medical group is a measure of osteoporosis management in women who have had a fracture. MN Community Measurement (MNCM) decided to add this measure in 2018 in response to evidence that Minnesota’s performance on this measure was lagging the nation. The statewide average for this measure is 31.5 percent.

High Performing Medical Groups

The report recognizes nine medical groups that achieved high performance on at least 50 percent of the measures for which they were eligible. These medical groups are:

  • Central Pediatrics
  • Entira Family Clinics
  • Essentia Health
  • HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics
  • HealthPartners Clinics
  • Mankato Clinic
  • Park Nicollet Health Services
  • South Lake Pediatrics
  • Wayzata Children’s Clinic

“Our patients expect and deserve top quality care,” said Andrea Walsh, president and CEO, HealthPartners. “These results reflect the hard work of many clinicians and care teams, and a strong culture of respect, collaboration and systematic, evidence-based support for our patients and families. We are proud of our HealthPartners and Park Nicollet results and the physicians and care teams that earned them. And, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve our patients and we use MNCM’s independent review to help guide our improvements.”

Importance of Measurement

Measuring and reporting on health care quality is important because it helps consumers know how care varies across providers, helps providers to understand how their measures compare to others and where their biggest improvement opportunities are, and helps 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 that we’ve built to measure and report on health care outcomes,” said Julie Sonier, MNCM President. “The measures that we’re using are really important in terms of preventing and managing disease to get the best possible health outcomes. There continues to be wide variation on most measures, which shows that there is still a lot of opportunity for 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 patient experience.