The MMA has made the decision to withdraw from the board of MN Community Measurement (MNCM) and to resign as a founding, dues-paying member. This was a difficult decision and one that the MMA, itself a dues-supported organization, made following thoughtful deliberations.
The MMA is proud to have been a founding member of MNCM at a time when many in the physician community challenged the notion of driving improvement through quality of care measurement and public reporting. Yet, after 15 years of continued investment, and despite incremental progress on several metrics of clinical performance, the MMA is increasingly concerned that the actual health of Minnesotans is not better and, in some cases, is worsening. We have decided that a new strategy is needed.
Since the founding of MNCM there have been dramatic changes in the measurement and health care landscape – greater involvement by national organizations and the federal government; broader and more diverse measurement development organizations; wider adoption of electronic health records; greater agreement that measurement needs to be focused and made more meaningful; deeper understanding of the contributions of measurement burden and documentation on physician wellbeing; and, broader acceptance of the profound impact that social determinants have on health.
The staff and leadership of MNCM are working hard to reposition the organization within this changing and challenging environment. At the same time, the MMA has found MNCM to be reluctant to change its fundamental approach to measurement and too often willing to adopt measures that meet only narrow interests. Financial considerations also contributed to the MMA’s decision. For the past 15 years, MNCM has been the single largest external recipient of MMA financial support. During a period in which the MMA has worked hard to freeze and/or limit its own dues increases, MNCM increased dues by an average of nearly 4.5 percent annually – and recently proposed a new double-digit increase.
There is no doubt that MNCM has a lot to be proud of – community-developed measures; focused attention on health disparities; transparent data for patients and employers; and, aggregated data that medical practices can use to support quality improvement.
The MMA’s departure from MNCM does not change our commitment to focused, meaningful measurement that supports health; nor does it diminish our intent to remain a strong and vigilant voice for physicians and patients. In fact, the MMA will soon propose a new approach to measurement that focuses on health over disease-specific care processes and outcomes, recognizes the contributions to health that occur outside clinical practices and facilities, and reduces the burden of measure documentation and collection on physician practices.
One of the core goals of the MMA is to help make Minnesotans the healthiest in the nation. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s historic reputation in that regard has slipped. Although I am proud of our work and partnership with MNCM, it is now time to focus our energy and resources into new and different ways of recapturing best-in-nation health status.
Your support helps us continue to move forward – for physicians and for your patients.