Bringing wellbeing within reach of all Minnesotans

We want to bring wellbeing within reach for everyone in Minnesota. This report shows how our state’s health insurers are working toward that goal today. We’re excited to share with you the important work of our community partners in Bridges to Wellbeing. Here you will read about:bridges-graphic

  • Breathe Free North and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. How young people from the North Side of Minneapolis are making their community healthier by making their government change the laws.
  • Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood and HealthPartners. Helping one neighborhood’s little children succeed in school — and changing the definition of “health.”
  • Dakota County and Medica. How social workers and insurance people are integrating physical and mental health care to nurture whole people.
  • Hennepin County community paramedics and Hennepin Health. How a few paramedics are giving some people in the hardest circumstances a chance to feel better — and helping change our state’s health care system at the same time.
  • Center for Victims of Torture and UCare. Helping doctors heal wounded bodies by giving hope to wounded hearts.




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Compare medical bills across the state; MN Community Measurement shares latest data on increasing medical expenses

Don’t miss MN Community Measurement’s latest reports on the total cost of medical care in Minnesota. Along with Minnesota-specific information on increasing overall medical expenses, it provides details about what is behind the increases at different medical groups and in various regions of the state. It also provides how much medical groups are paid for 90 medical procedures including cardiac stress test, colorectal cancer screening, fecal blood test, lower extremity CT (also called computed tomography) without contrast and vasectomy.

Overall, the report show medical care increased 5.6 percent from 2014 to 2015 for people with health insurance through work. The increase between 2013 and 2014 was 3.2 percent. Individual medical group for 2015 results vary widely and range from $365 to $914 per patient per month. Year-to-year comparisons track the change total cost for patients by types of care received. Take home pharmacy costs, for example, increased the most, more than 9 percent between 2014 and 2015. Find out more.


The cost of 90 common medical procedures can be searched by – and compared across – medical groups. And find out the average procedure costs for 200 unique medical groups.



The 2015 data on procedures show how expensive care is can depend on where you go for care. For example, the expense for Glucose or blood sugar test be from $6 to $51, a knee x-ray is between $20 to $219, and the expense for a 15-minute office visit ranges between $75 to $210 for people who get their health insurance through work, depending on where one seeks medical care. Each of the 90 medical procedures measured can be viewed, and sorted by medical group, at

MN Community Measurement reminded Minnesotans to check with their health insurer and clinic or hospital to verify actual costs and that the amount paid for a procedure is only one aspect of the cost of care.

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Depression, race, opportunity for health, explorer Bancroft all at upcoming conference

Where can you find conversations about mental health, equal opportunity for health and using data in exploration and more all in one place? At the MN Community Measurement Annual Conference. Join the conversations 8:15 to 5 p.m., Sept. 15, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.
Ann Bancroft, one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and internationally recognized leader, will start the day off with her stories of discovery, pioneering, exploration and using measurement and data to help her and others navigate expeditions.
In the afternoon, Stephen Nelson, M.D, director of the Sickle Cell Clinic at Children’s of Minnesota, will speak about race, racism and how we can all give Minnesotans the opportunity for health and well-being.
Topics throughout the day include adolescent depression and mental health, medical expenses and what we can do to improve the care Minnesotans get.
Find out more and register at MN Community Measurement.

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Patients rate knee, back surgeries

Thousands of Minnesotans have surgeries on their knees and back. How do they feel after the surgery compared to before? MN Community Measurement asked. Here’s what patients reported.

The details are here and you’ll see the amount of improvement varies by where the patient went for surgery.

Minnesota is the first state in the nation to collect and publicly release results for three orthopedic surgeries: total knee replacement and back surgeries. Back surgeries in this report are lumbar fusion, which joins vertebrae in the lower back so they heal into a single bone, and herniated disc, removing all or part of the damaged disc that is causing problems.
Note when you look at the report, the back surgeries rated on a 100-point scale, measure how much pain, function and mobility improved. The knee surgery rating is a 48-point scale; the higher the score the better the knee worked.

“It is important to understand the effectiveness of these surgeries because the demand for them is growing.” – Ed Ehlinger, M.D., commissioner, Minnesota department of health

Detailed information on each type of surgery is available here. And you can find out more from the Minnesota Department of Health.

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Minnesota’s clinics rated in Consumer Reports magazine

In the May issue of Consumer Reports, a special insert includes ratings on 500 primary care clinics across the state. The ratings, which reflect the same data as what is currently on, provide Minnesotans with objective information on the quality of care for colon cancer screening, diabetes care and vascular care. Clinics were included in the insert if they had enough data to report on at least two of the three measure areas.

These ratings give Minnesotans a window into how their doctors compare. Known as the Doctor Project, the effort was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and was led in Minnesota by our colleagues at MN Community Measurement.


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Minnesota earned an A; congrats

Not a regular reader of Forbes magazine? Neither am I. So I missed this cool article that reported on information to help us understand if we’re getting excellent care. First the bad news: 43 states flunked. But the good news is Minnesota is one of three states (along with California and Washington) to earn an A.

“The vast majority of Americans simply don’t have access to local information on the quality of physician care,” the story states. It also notes our efforts here in Minnesota are increasingly looked at as a model because Minnesota HealthScores is a statewide effort to compare clinics on the success of the care and treatment, along with how people feel about their experience at the clinic.

Minnesota’s work, through MN Community Measurement, is unique because the information isn’t just one health insurance company’s ranking, the data to create the reports come directly from the clinics for the most part.

Read the original Forbes article.

-Eileen Smith

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