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Big Increase in Adolescent Vaccination Rates Last Year

See all results of these measures on

Nearly 3,000 more Minnesota adolescents received recommended vaccinations last year than the year before – a 14 percent increase, according to new data released by MN Community Measurement. This continued an upward trend in vaccination rates for adolescents in Minnesota; between 2013 and 2015, the rate of youths having recommended vaccinations by age 13 rose from 62 to 80 percent.

Conversely, the new data showed a small backslide in vaccination rates for children. Only 77 percent of children received recommended immunizations by age two in 2014, down three percentage points from 2013.

The results were part of MNCM’s annual update of 11 Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) measures. These HEDIS measures evaluate what percentage of patients are receiving appropriate medical care, immunizations and screenings at medical groups across Minnesota and in bordering communities.

In addition to Adolescent and Childhood Vaccination measures, 2015 report year results were released for the following measures:

  • Appropriate Care for Adults with Bronchitis: The average rate increased five percentage points, from 29 percent to 34 percent. This continues an upward trend for this measure, which increased three percentage points last year. Recommended care for bronchitis is not to prescribe antibiotics, because bronchitis is caused by a virus. Overuse of antibiotics can result in resistance to medications.
  • Appropriate Care for Children with ADHD on Medication: The average rate dipped one percentage point to 41 percent. It has hovered between 41 and 42 percent for three years. Appropriate care for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves regular follow up to evaluate if medication is working as desired.
  • Appropriate Care for Children with Colds: Ninety-one percent of Minnesota kids who have colds do not receive antibiotics, which is the recommended care because most colds are caused by viruses. This is an increase of one percentage point over last year.
  • Appropriate Care for Children with Sore Throats: The average rate increased slightly, from 88 to 89 percent. The rate has hovered between 88 and 89 percent for the past three years. Recommended care for children with sore throats includes a test for strep throat and antibiotics only if the strep test in positive. Individual medical group results ranged from a high of 100 percent to a low of 0 percent – one of the largest ranges of any measure tracked and reported by MNCM, which indicates significant variation and room for improvement across provider.
  • Appropriate Testing of COPD: The average rate increased remained unchanged at 41 percent. Recommended care includes confirmation of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosis with a spirometry test.
  • Breast Cancer Screening: The average rate of breast cancer screening dipped one percentage to 81 percent last year. The measure looks at how many women ages 50 to 74 had had a mammogram in the past two years.
  • Cervical Cancer Screening: Seventy-eight percent of women ages 21 to 64 had received a Pap test in the past three years to screen for cervical cancer. Changes to the cervical cancer measure this year mean we cannot compare this rate to previous years. The measure was revised to include additional criteria that, beginning at age 30, women also be tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV) every five years.
  • Chlamydia Screening: The average rate of regular screening for chlamydia among sexually active young women increased one percentage point to 50 percent this year. This continues a slow but steady climb over the past two years, from 47 to 50 percent since 2013. Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics, but if left untreated can result in infertility and other reproductive damage for women.
  • Controlling High Blood Pressure: The average rate of patients whose high blood pressure was well controlled last year was 77 percent. High blood pressure can result in heart attacks or strokes, which is why control is critical. Due to changes in the measure, we cannot compare this rate to previous years.

The full results of all measures noted above can be found in the Measuring Quality section of