SOURCE: HealthPartners

August 22, 2006 17:19 ET

National Initiative on Health Care Quality, Transparency Includes Quality Measures Developed in Minnesota

BLOOMINGTON, MN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2006 -- An Executive Order signed by President George W. Bush today includes reporting and rewarding quality measures that have been publicly available in Minnesota since 2004. The Executive Order on Transparency calls for using composite measures which were developed by HealthPartners. A 2005 report by the Institute of Medicine Performance Measurement: Accelerating Improvement recognized HealthPartners for pioneering the concept of composite measurement and has recommended that composite measurement methodology be adopted across the country. HealthPartners was one of six case studies -- and the only health plan -- profiled in the IOM report. MN Community Measurement also uses composite measurement and the National Business Group on Health recognized the composite measures with its prestigious 2006 Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement: The Minnesota measures are based on best practices defined by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement of which HealthPartners is a founding member along with the Mayo Clinic and Park Nicollet. ICSI is an independent, non-profit organization representing more than 7,600 physicians.

Pay for performance: The Executive Order on Transparency also calls for aligning the financial system to pay for quality care. HealthPartners was the first health plan in Minnesota and one of the first in the nation to launch a pay for performance program in 1997. The program rewards providers for meeting quality measures for primary care, specialty and hospital care. In 2005, HealthPartners awarded $15 million to providers for delivering optimal care for conditions including diabetes, heart disease and asthma.

Transparency: HealthPartners has publicly reported information about quality since 1992. In 2005, HealthPartners began posting information about cost and quality, including the price range charged by specific providers. The cost and quality web site now includes information on more than 150 services and procedures such as MRIs and CT scans, cataract surgery and hip and knee replacement surgery.

Editor's note: Interviews are available with:

Mary Brainerd, HealthPartners president and CEO

Dr. Gail Amundson, a board member of Minnesota Community Measurement and ICSI

Dr. Amundson also serves on panels for the National Quality Forum, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Ambulatory Quality Alliance.

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with commercial and Medicare Advantage plans that received the highest rating of "Excellent" from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

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