Minnesota Bridges to Excellence rewards Appleton Area Health Services for excellence in treatment of patients with depression!

Appleton, Minn. (September 9, 2013)- The Minnesota Health Action Group (formerly Buyers Health Care Action Group) announced today that Appleton Area Health Services is among 445 Minnesota and border state clinics that were recently recognized for delivering optimal care and achieving or improving specific patient outcomes as part of the 2013 Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program and Minnesota Quality Incentive Payment System, a State of Minnesota program also administered by the Action Group. A complete list of reward recipients can be found at www.mnhealthactiongroup.org.
Appleton Area Health Services was recognized for achieving the program’s specific clinical outcomes for patients with depression; which is known to be a primary driver of health care costs. Meeting the achievement goals is the highest level of recognition in the program.
“We are very pleased to be recognized for excellence in improving patient outcomes”, says Judy Carruth, Clinic Manager for Appleton Area Health Services. In addition, Appleton Area Health Services was recognized for meeting the improvement goal for depression care or increasing the use of the PHQ-9 for depression (the assessment questionnaire used to determine a patient’s level of depression).
“We applaud the efforts of health care providers across the state who have made a commitment to improving the quality of care for their patients and for targeting this specific condition that is known to drive up health care costs, and can impact a patient’s overall state of health”, said Carolyn Pare, president and CEO, Minnesota Health Action Group. “This is significant because co-morbidity complicates the treatment of chronic conditions and increases health care costs and workplace productivity. Treating the whole person and all of their health needs is essential for achieving the best outcomes possible for each patient.
The Minnesota Bridges to Excellence program, which was established by the Minnesota Health Action Group in 2005, and the State’s Quality Incentive Payment System implemented in 2011, relies on clinical data that is publicly reported to identify clinics that qualify for a reward for meeting or exceeding optimal care standards for a specified percentage of patients with depression.
To be eligible for a reward, clinics must have a certain percentage of patients at optimal levels of care or significantly increase the number over the previous year. For depression measurements include remission, response and use of the PHQ-9. Both are remission and response measures based on the patient’s improvement in their PHQ-9 score over a six-month period of time.