Minnesota Hospital Association


March 16, 2017

Minnesota among top in nation for health care access, quality and outcomes

Commonwealth Fund ranks Minnesota at top of all dimensions measured

ST. PAUL – Minnesota ranks second in the nation for health care access, quality and outcomes in a report issued March 16 by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes a high-performing health care system and supports independent research on health care issues. 

The report, “Aiming Higher: Results from a Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2017 Edition,” ranks the health systems of every state and the District of Columbia based on 44 health care measures grouped into five dimensions of performance: access and affordability, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use and cost, healthy lives, and equity. Minnesota was one of only two states rated in the top quartile for all five dimensions measured. 

Minnesota rates first in the nation in the category of healthy lives, which includes measures that affect people’s ability to lead long and healthy lives – like rates of smoking, premature death and obesity. The report said that if all states performed as well as Minnesota, there would be approximately 90,000 fewer premature deaths before age 75 for conditions that can be detected early and effectively treated with good follow-up care. 

Improvement nationwide, especially in states that expanded Medicaid

The report found that nearly all state health systems improved on the measured health indicators between 2013 and 2015, coinciding with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). States that expanded Medicaid, including Minnesota, saw a drop in uninsured rates, with more people accessing health care coverage. Through the Medicaid expansion, nearly 200,000 additional Minnesotans gained Medical Assistance coverage. Minnesota is now among the top five states for insurance coverage, with only 4 percent of residents uninsured.

The report also highlighted a decline in hospital readmissions, which accelerated after the federal government implemented a system of incentives and penalties related to readmissions and created Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIIN) to help spread best practices. Since the HIIN (previously the Hospital Engagement Network) program’s inception in 2011, the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) has been continuously selected to lead HIIN efforts in Minnesota around reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Currently MHA is one of 16 national, regional or state hospital associations, Quality Improvement Organizations and health system organizations leading this work.

“Minnesota’s hospitals, health systems and care team members partner in their communities to promote healthy lives and work diligently to provide every patient with exceptional care,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA’s president and CEO. "These results are another example of how Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems strengthen healthy communities across our state.”

To learn more about how MHA and Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are focusing on quality and patient safety to improve care, visit www.mnhospitals.org/patient-safety.

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents 142 hospitals and health systems, which provide quality care for their patients and meet the needs of their communities. 

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