"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

MNCM Launches Streamlined Quality Data Submission (SQDS) Project

Measuring the quality of health care is an essential component to improving the care received by patients and ultimately to managing the total cost of care. In today’s environment, data for quality measurement is gathered through multiple data sources, including direct data submission by providers and claims information supplied by health plans and other payers. While the data supplied through these mechanisms have provided a strong foundation for quality measurement and the insights medical groups receive about their patients are extremely valuable to quality improvement, some challenges remain:

  • Collecting the data for measurement can be time consuming, detailed and complex work that requires significant investment on the part of providers.
  • Submission of data on an annual basis does not provide the opportunity for early identification and interventions to address quality issues as they are identified.
  • Collection of data from multiple sources through different mechanisms requiring manual integration for measurement and reporting creates inefficiencies that delay the sharing of feedback with data contributors.

MN Community Measurement recognizes both the benefits and burdens of reporting health care data. Through this initiative, MNCM seeks to increase the benefits and lessen the burden for our data-contributing medical groups while delivering more timely information to inform quality improvement. The first phase of this project began with an internal review of the drivers of provider burden in quality measurement and reporting identified through a variety of sources – technical assistance provided through data submission and validation processes, feedback gathered in Q/A calls with data submitters, variance requests, information collected through the Direct Data Submission portal, and more.

MNCM will be engaging Minnesota providers currently submitting quality data to review the results of the internal evaluation to provide further insights on drivers of provider burden and potential solutions, as well as information on their data and what’s needed to advance quality improvement within their patient populations. This input will assist MNCM in defining the business requirements for the new quality information system, particularly as it relates to streamlining data submission as well as timeliness and presentation of the needed information.