MNCM News

"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

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.