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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.


Read More

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

Read More

UCare recognizes clinics, care systems for outstanding results

Nineteen clinics and care systems were recently rewarded by UCare for achieving goals in the health plans’ 2014 Pay for Performance (P4P) and quality improvement programs. The clinics received more than $2.5 million in financial incentives. In addition, awards went to two systems for going the extra mile to deliver culturally responsible health services, and reduce barriers to care for people with disabilities. UCare logo

The P4P awards recognize health care providers who earned quality excellence awards for improving care for more than 500,000 UCare Medicare, MinnesotaCare, Medical Assistance and other members in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare analyzes patient care claims to determine P4P reward recipients.

The Excellence in Culturally Competent Care Award went to CentraCare Family Health Center for making significant changes to improve culturally appropriate care and communication with patients from other cultures. The University of Minnesota Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) received the Excellence in Disability Care Award for making significant changes to remove barriers to care for people with physical disabilities and mental illness, and helping UCare members access preventive services.

Physicians and staff from nine clinics were recognized for their overall quality of care for seniors in Medicare, and the state’s program that combines Medicare and Medical Assistance.

MSHO Overall Performance Quality of Care honorees were:

Medicaid Overall Performance Quality of Care were:

“UCare strives to deliver quality in all aspects of our health coverage plans and services to members,” said Dr. Russ Kuzel, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “We are proud to recognize and honor high-performing providers who share our commitment to helping UCare members achieve and maintain optimal health at all stages and ages of life.”

UCare’s P4P criteria are selected to improve preventive care. UCare evaluates efforts to identify health issues and risks through screenings for various health risks and conditions such as high cholesterol among members with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as breast cancer screenings and management of antidepressant medications. UCare also uses criteria tied to well-child visits and the monitoring of nephropathy in members with diabetes. Measures are based on specifications from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Department of Health, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, and MN Community Measurement.


Read More

Researchers arrive in Minneapolis; Medica’s Institute presents findings

Health care researchers, more than 2,400 of them, are in Minneapolis for the AcademyHealth international meeting. This events brings together researchers who focus on improving the quality, accessibility and value of health care, while reducing disparities and improving health. Medica Research Institute has been invited to share its innovative, leading-edge research that informs health care reform. Here’s a sample of their work:

  • Minnesota Research Showcase. Caroline Carlin, Ph.D., will participate in a panel chaired by Jon Christianson, Ph.D., that spotlights the state of Minnesota renowned for its forward-looking health care system and its sophisticated health services research.
  • 50th Anniversary of Medicare. Jon Christianson, Ph.D., will join other panelists, including Don Berwick and Dave Durenburger, to examine the role of health services research in Medicare policy over the last several decades and how it can help address Medicare’s future challenges.
  • Patient Preferences in Pharmaceutical Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Patterns in Plan and Provider Network Choice through a Private Health Insurance Exchange
  • Contraceptive Choice after the Affordable Care Act
  • Pent-up Health Care Demand after the Affordable Care Act
  • Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Depression in Early Adolescent Girls
  • How Does Maternal Depression Confer Risk for Adolescent Psychopathology? Negative Personality Traits as an Explanatory Mechanism
  • Measuring Overuse of Low-Value Health Services

The Medica Research Institute is an applied, academic-like environment that conducts leading-edge research to bring about high value health care. Medica Research InstInstitute investigators explore key issues in health care by resourcing Medica’s regional connections and health care systems serving patients in the upper Midwest. Optimizing health care delivery, enhancing health care user engagement, and informing community health are the three main pillars of the Institute’s research agenda. Follow the Medica Research Institute on Twitter: @MedicaResearch.

Read More