"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 Welcomes Dr. Anne Pearson as New Board Member

Dr. Anne PearsonMNCM is pleased to welcome Anne Pearson, MD, CPE as the newest members of its Board of Directors.
Anne Pearson is the Vice President, Medical Director of Provider Integration at Fairview Health Services. In her role, Dr. Pearson is responsible for the integration of two legacy medical groups comprised of 1,400 employed providers. In addition to her leadership role, Dr. Pearson is a family medicine physician. She sees patients at the HealthEast clinic in Vadnais Heights.

Dr. Pearson attended the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago and completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is an experienced medical leader who has served in a variety of roles including site medical director, regional medical director, and vice president of the HealthEast Medical Group/executive medical director for primary care. In 2014, Dr. Pearson become a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) through the American Association of Physician Leaders. In 2017, she received her Lean Bronze Certification.

Dr. Pearson served on the HealthEast System Board of Directors for six years and is currently on the Board for the Community Health Network, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Dr. Pearson has a passion for improving quality and patient experience. She has chaired the ambulatory quality committee at HealthEast and served on the quality committee of the Board. She been a part of care redesign work at HealthEast and Fairview and is also part of the customer experience team at Fairview. Much of her focus has been guiding providers to put the patient at the center of improvement work including a focus on achieving quality outcomes, advancing access work, and partnering to think differently about how our care teams work together to serve patients.


2018 Health Care Quality Report Highlights High Performing Medical Groups, Statewide Room for Improvement

MN Community Measurement (MNCM), an independent nonprofit organization that empowers health care decision makers with meaningful data to drive improvement, has released a report highlighting quality measures for health care provided by medical groups across Minnesota. The “2018 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report,” presents data collected by MNCM, including an online appendix with comparisons by medical group and clinic. Several medical groups are recognized for achieving high performance on at least 50 percent of the measures for which they were eligible.

Addition of New Statewide Analysis

MNCM added a new statewide analysis showing that substantial gains could be achieved if performance on quality measures was raised to a benchmark level defined by current high performers. An example of this is illustrated with the average rate for colorectal cancer screening. The current statewide average rate for colorectal cancer screening is 71 percent; however, the benchmark is at 75 percent. Another example is outlined in optimal asthma control for children. The statewide average is 58 percent, with the benchmark at 71 percent. For these examples, if all medical groups achieved the benchmark levels, over 54,000 more patients would be screened for colorectal cancer and over 9,000 more children would have their asthma under control. (See report, page 8.)

“The benchmark analysis illustrates the potential impact of raising statewide performance to the current level of groups with highest performance,” says MN Community Measurement President Julie Sonier. “However, for some measures – such as the measures for depression care – the current benchmarks are low, which calls attention to the need for improvement across the board to get better health outcomes for Minnesotans.”

High Performing Medical Groups

The report recognizes eight primary care or multi-specialty medical groups that have achieved high performance on at least 50 percent of the measures for which they were eligible. These medical groups are:

  • Allina Health
  • Entira Family Clinics
  • Essentia Health
  • HealthPartners Clinics
  • Mankato Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Stillwater Medical Group

High Performing Pediatric Groups

The report also recognizes four pediatric groups that achieved high performance on at least 50 percent of the pediatric measures for which they were eligible. These pediatric groups are:

  • Central Pediatrics
  • Fridley Children’s and Teenagers’ Medical Center
  • South Lake Pediatrics
  • Wayzata Children’s Clinic

South Lake Pediatrics Chief Medical Director Michael Garvis, M.D., says, “We have seen steady and consistent improvement and have continued to make small changes along the way, as new suggestions or best practices have surfaced. This has resulted in excellent vaccination rates, as well as low emergency room and hospitalization rates for asthma and mental health patients. We have also been able to intervene with our chronic patients with the consistency of our care coordinators who focus on our mental health, chronic asthma, developmentally challenged, and medically complex patients.”

Showing Consistent Improvement

Ten medical groups demonstrated consistent improvement on multiple measures over time. Consistent improvement is defined as having at least a two-percentage point increase each year since 2016. Medical groups showing consistent improvement include:

  • Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
  • Entira Family Clinics
  • Fairview Mesaba Clinics
  • HealthEast Clinics
  • Hutchinson Health
  • Lakewood Health System
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Ridgeview Sibley Medical Center
  • Sanford Health – Sioux Falls Region

Lakewood Health System, located in central Minnesota, and Park Nicollet Health Services, achieved consistent improvement on five measures since 2016.

“At Lakewood, we use all available resources including our internal data, state, county, and even our local schools to help improve the health of the communities we serve,” says Lakewood Chief Medical Officer John Halfen. “Having this information is crucial and allows us to put strategies in place through our care teams, education, and systems changes, which can directly impact those areas needing improvement. In doing this, we have seen an immediate benefit to our population health which the long-term viability of our system is dependent on.”

About MN Community Measurement

MN Community Measurement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering health care decision makers with meaningful data to drive improvement. A trusted source of health care data since 2005, MNCM works with doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and state agencies to collect, analyze, and report health care data related to quality, cost, and patient experience. Learn more at


MNCM Releases Report on Preventive Health Measures; 2018 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report Coming Soon

In January, MNCM released the third report in a series of topic reports, “2018 Preventive Health Measures.” This report presents data collected by MNCM in 2018 on quality measures for preventive health services in Minnesota, including an online appendix with comparisons by medical group and clinic. It includes information on cancer screening, infectious disease screening, and vaccinations for children and adolescents. Medical group results for the immunizations for adolescents measure – now including the new HPV vaccine component – are publicly reported for the first time. View the report.

The “2018 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report” will be released on February 28. Watch for the press release soon!


Reducing the Burden of Data Reporting: Introducing PIPE

MNCM is in the process of developing a new suite of software to alleviate the burden of provider quality reporting. The new approach will allow MNCM to implement an automated data extraction method to retrieve encounter data necessary for quality measurement from participating providers. This process can either be completed by an extraction by the clinic group or by utilizing the MNCM extraction technology. Once encounter data is extracted and retrieved, MNCM will then be able to apply measurement specifications centrally to determine the appropriate measure denominator. The new MNCM software suite is called Process Intelligence Performance Engine (PIPE).

More About PIPE

PIPE is a platform for application integration, process automation, data extraction, and clinical measurement analysis. PIPE can integrate applications that weren’t built to be connected and automate processes across such heterogenous systems; cloud/SaaS applications with premise systems, legacy systems with modern web applications, and back office systems. This aspect of the software suite is known as the Process Intelligence (PI). Clinic groups can choose to work with MNCM to utilize the PI to extract the necessary information, or they can manually extract the information from their EHR and other systems.

Once the data has been extracted, the information is moved into the MNCM Performance Engine (PE). The PE will be able to quickly analyze the data and provide real-time denominator and numerator reporting back to the clinic group. Unlike the current process, PIPE can retrieve clinic data monthly and report back to each clinic group on a monthly and quarterly schedule.

The initial pilot will begin the second quarter of 2019. Organizations that transition to PIPE can continue to use the new platform going forward. Organizations that are currently utilizing the existing process will be able to continue to do so. Additional organizations will be onboarded throughout 2019.

Organizations that are interested in reducing their reporting burden can contact Will Muenchow, Director of Technology and Data Integrity, at


MNCM in the News

This winter, MNCM has been featured in a variety of news stories in publications from throughout the state. Stories have covered a range of topics – from depression care in Minnesota to transparent price and quality comparisons. The articles highlight the importance of measurement and reporting for all health care stakeholders.

Click on the headlines below to read the articles:


New Report Highlights Significant Increases in Immunizations for Children and Adolescents – MN Community Measurement’s Preventive Health Measures report shows several clinics and medical groups achieving noteworthy results

MN Community Measurement (MNCM), an independent nonprofit organization that empowers health care decision makers with meaningful data to drive improvement, has released a report highlighting quality measures for preventive health services in Minnesota. It includes information on cancer screening, infectious disease screening, and vaccinations for children and adolescents. The report, “2018 Preventive Health Measures,” presents data collected by MNCM in 2018, including an online appendix with comparisons by medical group and clinic. Medical group results for the immunizations for adolescents measure – now including the new HPV vaccine component – are also being publicly reported for the first time.

Key Findings:
Childhood and Adolescent Immunizations
Both immunization measures are improving and show statistically significant increases in statewide rates compared to last year. The statewide rate for the Childhood Immunization Status (Combo 10) measure is 60 percent, a six-percentage point increase compared to 2017. The statewide rate for the new version of the adolescent immunization measure, now including the HPV vaccine, is 26 percent. While there is ample room for improvement, the statewide rate improved by 11 percentage points compared to 2017.

American Cancer Society State Health Systems Manager Matt Flory applauds the inclusion of the HPV vaccination component in the adolescents measure. Flory says, “By giving boys and girls these shots, we can prevent six types of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends this vaccination at age 11 or 12, which aligns perfectly with the new measure. In the future, we hope to see more 13-year-olds receive the HPV shot at the same time they are vaccinated for the other shots in the combo.”

Colorectal Cancer Screening
Although there was a decrease in the statewide colorectal cancer screening rate, this was due, at least in part, to changes to the denominator that were made to align with the national measure.

The changes removed relevant preventive service codes, reducing the size of the total population
included in the measure.

The Colorectal Cancer Screening measure uses data from clinics, which enables reporting of results by geography, age, gender, race, Hispanic ethnicity, language, and country of origin. Colorectal Cancer Screening rates are significantly higher for patients who live in metro areas,
are age 60 and older, or female. Notably, colorectal cancer screening rates for all populations of color are significantly below the statewide average.

Variation in Medical Group Performance
There is significant variation in medical group performance for all preventive health screening measures analyzed, but several medical groups and clinics are achieving noteworthy results for many of the measures. There were eight primary care or multi-specialty medical groups with rates significantly above the statewide average on at least 50 percent of the preventive health measures for which they were eligible. Seventeen primary care clinics received a top rating on the Colorectal Cancer Screening measure, after adjustment for different patient risk factors.

Allina Health President and CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler says, “Allina Health believes in measuring what matters to the people we serve and is grateful for MN Community Measurement as a trusted community resource to guide quality improvement. We are very proud of the quality outcomes our patients achieve as a result.”

The Importance of Preventive Health Screenings
MN Community Measurement has been collecting and publishing measures on preventive health since 2005. The topic continues to be an important focus for measurement because it can aid in preventing disease, detecting illness at an early state when treatment works best, helping people live healthier lives, and keeping health care costs down. Some of the most common preventive health services recommended include cancer screenings and immunizations.

Julie Sonier, president of MN Community Measurement, says, “Collecting and publishing data about how often recommended preventive services are being delivered is a powerful way for our community to focus on health care quality and improvement. We are especially encouraged this year by the improvement in immunization rates for children and adolescents.”

To see the full report, visit In addition, detailed results by medical group and clinic are available on the online appendix or by visiting


MNCM Welcomes New Measurement Reporting Committee (MARC) Co-Chair

MNCM is pleased to welcome Rahshana Price-Isuk, MD as the new co-chair of MARC. Dr. Price-Isuk is a board-certified practicing family physician and medical director at Neighborhood Healthsource, an urban primary care clinic system in Minneapolis organized as a Federally Qualified Health Center with a mission to provide affordable, quality health care to underserved communities. She has been an actively engaged MARC member for over six years. She joins Howard Epstein, MD, senior VP & Chief Medical Officer at PreferredOne who serves as the other co-chair.


MNCM Adopts 2019 Slate of Measures for Public Reporting

In December, MNCM’s Measurement and Reporting Committee and its board of directors approved the slate of measures for public reporting in 2019. The measures listed on the 2019 slate are similar to last year with a few updates. First, the Controlling High Blood Pressure HEDIS measure will not be publicly reported in 2019 due to substantial changes to the measure specifications; public reporting will resume in 2020. In 2020, adolescents will be added to the suite of depression outcome measures reported in 2020 and the new Symptom Control During Chemotherapy measure will also be reported. To view the 2019 slate, click here.