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Expanded statewide health care quality report published

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Expanded statewide health care quality report published
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Minnesotans will be able to see quality measures for clinics and hospitals across the state in a new report published by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Nov. 18. The report, a part of Minnesota's 2008 health reform law, is a significant building block toward value-based health care in the state.

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"When consumers are armed with information about their health care, they will make better choices about their providers and the services they use," Governor Tim Pawlenty said. "The information in this report will help to turn the tide from just paying for procedures and instead, move toward health care that rewards quality. This report is a market-driven, patient-centered, quality-focused, and common sense tool for consumers that didn't come from Washington."

The quality report lays the foundation for provider peer grouping, which will compare providers on both risk-adjusted quality and cost in an effort to both improve quality and contain spiraling health care costs.

"This report is an important stepping stone toward providing information about health care value to Minnesotans," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan. "The next step is provider peer grouping, which will offer information on both health care quality and costs and make it possible for consumers to make decisions on their health care based on value."

The report is part of Minnesota's 2008 health reform law, which requires MDH to publish a standardized set of quality measures for hospitals and physician clinics across the state and to report on health care quality.

The report builds on the efforts of MN Community Measurement (MNCM), a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of health care in Minnesota by publicly reporting quality results. "This work builds on the rich history of collaboration in Minnesota's health care community; it reflects the efforts of many community members," said Jim Chase, president of MNCM. "We have been seeing significant improvements in care in the state on the measures we have been reporting. The state's involvement in the quality report has allowed us to have a greater impact by addressing more conditions and including more providers."

Clinic quality measures are presented in the report and include measures such as the best care for adults with diabetes and the best care for children with a sore throat; hospital quality measures include measures such as the best care for heart attack patients and the best infection prevention after surgery. The report expands the public reporting in two ways. First, MDH has increased the statewide scope of the report by bringing together measures from 520 clinics, as well as more than 40 quality measures submitted by hospitals. Second, it has also increased the depth of information through risk adjustment, which makes the results from providers more comparable, regardless of their patient population.

"We now have a more complete picture of health care in urban and rural areas," Magnan said.

MDH has organized the statewide report by region - Northwest/West Central, Northeast/Central, Twin Cities Metro and Southwest/Southeast/South Central.

The 2010 Minnesota Health Care Quality Report is available online at http://www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/measurement/report/index.html.

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