"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 Measures, Data in Use and Endorsed Nationally

Minnesota has significant experience developing, implementing and getting community-wide support for high-value provider performance measures. This has been reinforced recently by the national endorsement of several new MN Community Measurement measures; the first-ever adoption of a MNCM-developed measure into HEDIS; and the invitation to participate in the development of a new CMS/AHIP core measure set.

Measure Endorsement

The National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed two of our newest patient-reported outcome measures in July: Total Knee Replacement, average change in functional status; and Lumbar Spinal Fusion, average change in functional status; bringing the total number of NQF-endorsed measures developed and stewarded by MNCM to nine. Additionally, NQF re-endorsed our Optimal Diabetes Care measure with the revised cholesterol management component. That measure was first endorsed by NQF in 2011.

NQF is a non-profit organization in Washington, DC which plays an important role in standardizing health care quality measurement across the country and recommending measures for use in Medicare value-based purchasing and meaningful use programs. NQF endorsement is considered the gold standard in health care measurement.

Depression Measure in HEDIS

In 2016, MNCM’s PHQ-9 Utilization measure will be included in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). This marks the first time a HEDIS measure has been adapted from a MNCM-developed measure and is an important first step to getting a depression outcome measure incorporated into HEDIS. Minnesota medical groups are to be applauded for their work incorporating the PHQ-9 and illustrating how important it is in depression care. With HEDIS evaluating its utilization, providers across the country will begin use the PHQ-9 more consistently to collect patient-reported depression outcomes. We need to support this adoption, as not all providers are ready to incorporate these tools into their practices. It took local providers quite a few years to adopt the PHQ-9, which today is used by more than 70 percent of Minnesota clinics. While national adoption will be a similar slow and steady process, this is an important first step.

CMS/AHIP Core Measure Set

Patient-reported outcome measures developed by MNCM to evaluate depression and asthma care are being considered for inclusion in a Core Quality Measure Set being developed collaboratively by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and NQF. MNCM has also been invited to be a member of the planning committee. This effort is focused on identifying high-value quality measures to be used in CMS value-based payment programs as well as health insurance incentive-based contracting. Inclusion of MNCM measures in this core measure set will further align state and national quality measures, reducing the burden on Minnesota providers.

“While Minnesota is at the forefront of health care measurement and improvement, we must continue to push our community and the nation to ultimately achieve the goal of delivering the highest quality care with the best patient experience for the most efficient cost,” said Jim Chase, MNCM President.