All posts by Martha Burton Santibanez

Welcoming new staff members

In January, MNCM welcomed three new staff members, each of whom fills a critical role within the organization. Meet Erin, Amy and Jen.

Erin GhereErin Ghere, MPP, leads MNCM’s marketing and membership engagement efforts, creating and managing our publications, website, media relations and public reporting of data. Erin’s previous experience includes eight years in marketing and web management at HealthPartners. She earned her master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on women’s health and public health. When she’s not busy chasing her two young children around, Erin enjoys reading, cheering on the Vikings, and following politics and current events.

Amy KrierAmy Krier is one of the project coordinators providing support for direct data submission (DDS) measure implementation and validation and technical assistance to medical groups for data submission to MNCM’s Data Portal. She has 15 years of non-profit experience in the field of organ and tissue donation. In a past life, Amy lent her time and talents to local community theaters as a stage manager. Now she’s raising her two small children and appreciates catching a movie with her husband when they have the opportunity.

Jen SchnabelJen Schnabel, JD, MBA, is a project and account manager with MNCM. Jen’s previous experience is in dialysis facility management, law, race management, and surgical operations. She earned her JD at Hamline University and her MBA at St. Thomas; both degrees have a focus in health care. Jen enjoys non-fiction books, travel, and participating in polar plunges.

 

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — February 2014 newsletter.

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MNCM Measures Used in PQRS, National Programs

MNCM is pleased to announce that the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) has included MNCM’s Optimal Vascular Care measure into its suite of measures for the 2014 registry reporting option. PQRS is a reporting program that uses a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by eligible professionals (EPs).

Previously, MNCM’s Optimal Diabetes Care measure and its five components were selected in 2012 as a Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO), another reporting option in the PQRS program, and also are used in the Accountable Care Organization Medicare Shared Savings Program.

MNCM is encouraged by the continued adoption of its measures in federal programs and the accompanying recognition as a leader in health care quality measurement.  MNCM’s multi-stakeholder measure development process has been critical to its ability to create meaningful measures that have relevance at the national level.  Inclusion of these measures in federal programs creates alignment across local and national quality reporting programs, increasing their value to providers and consumers.

For more information about the PQRS program please refer to www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/PQRS/index.html.

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — February 2014 newsletter.

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New Health Care Quality Report Available

2013 HCQR coverThe MN Community Measurement 2013 Health Care Quality Report is now available to be viewed or downloaded.  This is the 10th annual report that compares clinic, medical group and hospital performance on clinical measures related to preventive and chronic care, hospital care and health information technology.  The primary purpose of this report is to provide valid, reliable and comparable information for providers to use in their efforts to improve patient care and outcomes.

We appreciate the significant contributions of clinics, medical groups, health plans, hospitals and others who contribute data for this report, and to the multitude of community stakeholders who share their expertise on our committees. Achieving our mission to accelerate the improvement of health by publicly reporting health care information relies on this collaborative effort. We continue to strive to be the trusted source for performance measurement and public reporting in our community.  If you have any questions or comments concerning this report, please contact our hotline (612-746-4522) or email support@mncm.org.

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — February 2014 newsletter.

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The Measurement Minute — January 2014

MNCM Newsletter Header

Welcome to the January 2014 issue of The Measurement Minute, MN Community Measurement’s monthly summary of current news and events. We welcome your feedback!

2014 Patient Experience Survey Start-Up Guide Available

  • Patient Experience 2014 Survey: Start-Up Summary Guide is now available on the MNCM data portal. Registered users, including survey vendor contacts, can log in to MNCM’s data portal to download this document. Read more >>

MNCM welcomes new board chair

  • This month, four-year board veteran Dr. Penny Wheeler steps up to become the chair of the MNCM Board of Directors.  As a physician, one of the things she observed in practice was “spots of absolutely brilliant care,” and her passion for improvement was spawned by the belief that it could be done more consistently. Read more >>

New data submission cycle names 

  • In the past, MN Community Measurement has had two data submission cycles, winter and summer. Starting in 2014, a new cycle is being introduced, and MNCM will assign new, standard names when referring to the data submission cycles. Read more >>
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New Patient Experience Survey Start-Up Guide Available

A Patient Experience Survey 2014: Start-Up Summary Guide is now available on the MNCM data portal. Registered users, including survey vendor contacts, can log in to MNCM’s data portal at https://data.mncm.org/login and download this document under the “Resources/Help” tab. (Returning survey vendors will need to reset passwords).

This document serves as a resource to understand the changes in the 2014 survey specifications and provides a high-level timeline and helpful steps to begin planning for this measure. In summary, the major changes this year are:

  • Psychiatry is the only clinical specialty excluded from the survey. Pediatric/Adolescent only clinics are required to assess their adult patients to determine eligibility.
  • The required survey instrument was changed from the CAHPS® Clinician & Group Visit Survey to the CAHPS® Clinician & Group 12-Month Survey.
  • The eligibility for the measure and the sample size that is surveyed are now based on a scaling table – the number of providers in the clinic will be used to determine sample size. The sample size is no longer 715 patients for every clinic.

The Minnesota Department of Health published the 2013 amendments to the Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) rules in the State Register. The adopted rule and appendices are available at Health Care Quality Measures – Adopted Rule. Although MNCM is still in contract negotiations with MDH, MNCM is proceeding with supporting this important measure and plans to publicly report results.

Questions? Please contact surveysupport@mncm.org or (612) 746-4522.

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — January 2014 newsletter.

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New data submission cycle names

In the past, MN Community Measurement has had two data submission cycles. The winter cycle included Optimal Diabetes Care, Optimal Vascular Care and Depression Care measures. The summer cycle included the Optimal Asthma Care, Colorectal Cancer Screening and Maternity Care: Primary C-section Rate measures. Starting in 2014, a new cycle is being introduced. This cycle will occur annually between April and May. The Total Knee Replacement measure will be in this new data submission cycle. For more information about the measure, please see the specifications available here.  Due to the introduction of a new data submission cycle, MNCM will assign new, standard names when referring to the data submission cycles.  The new data submission cycle names are:

Data Submission Cycle Name Measures included in data submission cycle
Cycle A Optimal Diabetes Care, Optimal Vascular   Care and Depression Care Measures
Cycle B Total Knee Replacement
Cycle C Optimal Asthma Care, Maternity Care and   Colorectal Cancer Screening

 

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — January 2014 newsletter.

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MNCM welcomes new board chair

Penny WheelerThis month, four-year board veteran Dr. Penny Wheeler steps up to become the chair of the MNCM Board of Directors. Penny is president and chief clinical officer for Allina Health System and is a member of Allina’s Executive Leadership Team. She leads the organization’s quality and value agenda through alignment of clinical and operational leadership to optimally benefit those served by Allina Health.  In 2011, she was selected to participate in a national leadership program to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

“My knowledge of and appreciation for MNCM began many years ago and was heightened when I came into my role helping to lead and support quality at Allina,” explains Penny. “We aligned many of our goals with those community measures.  At that time, we were giving optimal care for diabetics at about 11percent. Now it’s close to 50 percent. I truly believe that you improve what you measure and pay attention to, and so many lives are improved by doing so.”

Penny is an obstetrician/gynecologist who loves being a doctor and taking care of patients; she still sees patients one day a week. As a physician, one of the things she observed was “spots of absolutely brilliant care,” and her passion for improvement was spawned by the belief that it could be done more consistently.

“When you align yourself to measures that matter, you can improve a whole lot of lives,” she says. “That’s the real intention here. When you look at our care in Minnesota, relative to others, that seems to be the case. Last year, Modern Healthcare featured Minnesota on its cover as the place to go if you get sick. We want to transform that to keeping people well, too. I think MNCM, as well as a couple other secret sauce ingredients in Minnesota, is a big part of that.”

Penny says that she is looking forward to her new role on the board, which represents a wide range of health care perspectives and interests. “I feel very confident in the inter-professional collaboration that’s occurring on the board. It will move us to elevate our performance in the community; I feel pretty bullish about that. I also feel pretty lucky to be in Minnesota. We have high collaborative tendencies, even among competitors.  That serves us well in this new world. We’ve got a ways to go, but we are so much better positioned than other places.  Again, I attribute part of that to alignment around the measures that matter.”

Penny was recently married to her partner of 18 years, and the couple has a teenage daughter. Although it’s hard to believe Penny would have much spare time, she says she’s been doing a lot of two-column geometry proofs with her daughter, and she also loves travel and in-line skating.

MNCM is thrilled to welcome Penny to her new role as board chair, and we look forward to a productive year ahead.

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — January 2014 newsletter.

 

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The Measurement Minute — December 2013

MNCM Newsletter Header

Welcome to the December 2013 issue of The Measurement Minute, MN Community Measurement’s monthly summary of current news and events. We welcome your feedback!

MNCM launches new annual report

  • MN Community Measurement is excited to present its 2013 Annual Report, Building on a Foundation of Trust, which provides an overview of recent accomplishments, activities and plans. Read more >>


President Jim Chase elected to NQF Board  

  • Jim Chase is one of six new members elected to serve on The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors. Read more >>


Diane Mayberry to retire; MNCM reflects on 7 years of remarkable service

  • At the end of this year, director of business development Diane Mayberry, RN, MHA, will be retiring from MNCM. Diane’s passion for improving health care quality was a powerful influence on the strategic direction of the organization during its early years. Read more >>
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Diane Mayberry to retire; MNCM reflects on her 7 years of remarkable service

Diane Mayberry Nov 2013At the end of this year, director of business development Diane Mayberry, RN, MHA, will be retiring from MNCM. Since joining MNCM in July 2006 as senior program executive, Diane has applied her passion for improving health care quality to innovation and strategy within the organization. She served as MNCM’s first COO beginning in 2009, and has continuously played an integral role in helping MNCM thrive and grow. Diane will be greatly missed by all who have had the good fortune to work with her, and we thank her for her many contributions toward building a sustainable future for MNCM.

Diane joined MNCM at a time when it was just beginning to publicly report performance results, which was cutting-edge in the health care arena. As senior program director, she was initially responsible for several initiatives, including start-up of our first Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. Diane also was the project manager for the BQI project (Better Quality Information for Medicare Enrollees). MNCM was one of six regional collaboratives participating in this CMS-driven project, the goal of which was to assess the issues and benefits of combining Medicare data with regional quality data to derive and report performance measures.

My first year held a lot of excitement,” said Diane. “Mike Leavitt, then Secretary of Health, visited our board, and in August 2006, President Bush came to Minnetonka, Minn., where he issued an executive order promoting quality and efficient health care in the federal government.

Also in her first year, Diane began working on a new form of data submission, Direct Data Submission (DDS). “We started with the diabetes measure,” explained Diane. “We changed its specification from a HEDIS spec to one where the information would come from the medical records. We worked closely with BCBSMN and BHCAG (MHAG) on making this program a success by having them put forward rewards to groups who voluntarily participated in giving MNCM these performance results and agreed to have the rates publicly reported at the clinic-site level. This was cutting edge, too — it had been done in Wisconsin, but nowhere else in the country at that time.”

Diane’s knowledge, expertise and drive quickly propelled her to a strategic role within MNCM, helping to guide top-level decisions and overall operations. Along with providing support for several board committees, including Development and the first Quality Audit Committee, Diane helped to design and develop new clinical measures (e.g., depression measures with ICSI); worked on policies and processes to validate data; developed a more streamlined process to collect data accurately (the first MNCM data portal); developed a MNCM data sharing/use policy; and worked with HR to hire additional staff and move to a bigger office space.

As if this wasn’t enough, Diane was adding new revenue programs. She started the first Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) initiative, as well as the Provider Access Organization (PAO) business. In 2008/2009, she worked to operationalize the first Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) contract, and later, the first MDH Health Care Homes contract. In 2009, she became COO of MNCM, an organization that had grown from four employees to 16, due in no small part to her efforts. While she was COO, MNCM also achieved its first measure endorsements from the National Quality Forum.

In 2011, Diane transitioned to her role as Director of Business Development and has continued to provide guidance and inspiration to the organization.

“I’ve been very proud of what MNCM has achieved,” added Diane. “We’ve moved from HEDIS measures to electronic health record-based and outcome-based measures. We’ve elevated reporting from groups to the clinic-site level and added a number of patient-reported measures as well as patient experience measures. We’ve adopted Health Information Technology measures and Meaningful Use information, and begun to work on Total Cost of Care. MNCM continues to lead the way and is now nationally recognized for health care measurement.”

Diane’s retirement plans include, not surprisingly, being of service to family and friends. She says she will continue to pursue her many hobbies, which include gardening, international travel and reading, and even start some new ones!

But Diane says MNCM will stay close to her thoughts. “I hope that MNCM will achieve successful Triple Aim measurement, with much wider, deeper measures that include more specialties and new areas such as chiropractic and dental. There is also a lot of opportunity for MNCM to expand its business opportunities as measure developer and also in providing services for data collection and data analytics. I believe that MNCM eventually will become a regional collaborative model case that is replicated nationally.”

“Much of what we have accomplished at MNCM would not have happened without Diane’s leadership and ability,” noted MNCM President Jim Chase. “She is also a remarkably pleasant person to work with. We are in her debt, and wish her every success as her life’s journey continues.”

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — December 2013 newsletter.

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MN Community Measurement Joins Effort to Reduce Health Care Spending

Project instrumental in lowering health care costs in communities

Twin Cities-based MN Community Measurement (MNCM), has joined forces with the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and four other regional health improvement collaboratives (RHICs) across the country in a seminal study examining health care costs. The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will identify drivers of regional health care costs and develop strategies to reduce health care spending and improve health care quality at the community level.

“We know that the cost of care in Minnesota is lower than in many other states,” explained Jim Chase, President of MNCM.  “This will be the first time that we have standardized information to compare the cost of care by physician group for multiple payers across several communities.  As a result, we hope to better understand the differences in these costs; what drives these differences; and how to reduce costs while improving patient care.”

This pilot project will be conducted over an 18-month period and will use a nationally endorsed, standardized measure of cost and resource use that was developed in Minnesota. The five partnering RHICs will use these measures to create benchmarks for health care costs; identify the best ways to share information with the public; and include focused efforts with physicians to help them adopt practices that will reduce costs while maintaining the quality of care.

Chase noted that regional collaboratives such as MN Community Measurement are uniquely positioned to work with local physicians, patients and other stakeholders to use this data to improve care.  “The Accountable Care Act has reinforced that we all share in the high cost of health care, so it is important for us to learn how the best Minnesota physician groups are managing cost and share that knowledge with other regions,” he said.

The four other RHICs selected to participate in the study are Maine Health Management Coalition Foundation (MHMC-F); Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) located in Colorado; Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation; and the Midwest Health Initiative (MHI) located in the St. Louis region.

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About MN Community Measurement
MN Community Measurement is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health by publicly reporting health care information. A trusted source of health care quality measurement and public reporting since 2003, MNCM works with health plans, providers, employers, consumers and state agencies to spur quality improvement, reduce health care costs and maximize value. Data on patient experience, quality health care and cost can be found at MNHealthScores.org.

About NRHI
The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement is a national organization representing regional multi-stakeholder groups working towards achieving the Triple Aim of better health, better care, and reduced costs through continuous improvement.  NRHI and all of its members are non-profit organizations, separate from state government, working directly with physicians, hospitals, health plans, and patients using data to improve health care.

About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter  or on Facebook.

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MNCM launches annual report, “Building on a Foundation of Trust”

Image_2013 Annual ReportMN Community Measurement is excited to announce the launch of its 2013 Annual Report providing an overview of recent accomplishments, activities and plans. The 20-page report includes examples of the ways that MNCM is leading health care measurement – both locally and nationally – to positively impact quality and efficiency of health care. Specific features include:

  • A detailed infographic explaining our rigorous measure development process
  • Key learnings from the most recent Health Care Quality Report and the Health Care Disparities Report
  • A summary of the ground-breaking statewide patient experience survey that included more than 230,000 patients and 651 clinics
  • Recognition of MNCM’s leadership role in national health care improvement efforts
  • A case study on MNCM’s partnership with ClearWay MinnesotaSM
  • Commentary by MNCM President Jim Chase and Board Chair Beth Averbeck

“Our annual report offers just a snapshot of the impact that MNCM is having on health care in our community,” explained Chase.  “We know that the landscape of American health care will continue to shift, and we believe our work is fundamental to understanding and reacting to those changes in order to improve health care in Minnesota and across the country.”

Download MNCM’s 2013 Annual Report.

View this article and others in The Measurement Minute — December 2013 newsletter.

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Local Health Care Leader Elected to National NQF Board of Directors

Minneapolis, Minn. (Nov. 7, 2013) Jim Chase, president of Twin Cities-based MN Community Measurement (MNCM), has been elected to serve on The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors for a three-year term. NQF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public service organization that reviews, endorses, and recommends use of standardized healthcare performance measures. NQF also advises Medicare on measures to include in their value-based purchasing programs with physicians.

“It is an honor to be part of this important aspect of health reform at a national level,” said Chase. “Based on our experience in Minnesota in developing robust quality measures, I am eager to contribute to NQF’s efforts to standardize measures nationally and get them used to improve care.”

MN Community Measurement is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health by publicly reporting health care information. A trusted source of health care quality measurement and public reporting since 2003, MNCM works with health plans, providers, employers, consumers and state agencies to spur quality improvement, reduce health care costs and maximize value. Data on patient experience, quality health care and cost can be found at www.MNHealthScores.org.

Chase has been the president of MN Community Measurement since 2004. He has a master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Minnesota and has worked for Minnesota Department of Human Services, health plans, and provider organizations in the state. Chase is the past chair of the Network of Regional Healthcare Improvement, a group of leading regional health initiatives working to improve the quality and value of health in their communities. He also serves on the boards of the Institute of Clinical Systems Improvement and Apple Tree Dental.

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