Overview of UCare Quality Initiatives

Mission Statement

UCare improves the health of our members through innovative services and partnerships across communities.

Some of these services and partnerships include Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs).

 

Quality Matters at UCare

Our Quality and Population Health Program supports our mission to improve member health by addressing health equity and health care disparities through innovative services and community partnerships. Every year, our Quality Program is evaluated to make sure it is effective and meaningful, and that it meets regulatory standards and guidelines. Results from our annual evaluation help us develop, prioritize and track our progress toward our quality plan goals.

Thanks to strong collaboration with our providers and community partners, UCare delivers measurably high-quality care to every one of our members. Quality monitoring and program initiatives continue to demonstrate positive outcomes.

 

Active Initiatives

Current PIPS:

Healthy Start for Women and Children Improvement Project

This PIP is intended to promote a “Healthy Start” for Minnesota children in the Prepaid Medical Assistance Program (PMAP) and MinnesotaCare (MnCare) populations by focusing on and improving services provided to pregnant people and infants, particularly in areas exhibiting the most significant racial and ethnic disparities. UCare and each participating Managed Care Organization (MCO) has established a goal aimed at improving prenatal care, postpartum care, well-child visits and/or COMBO-10 immunization rates with the focus on disparities, relevant to the individual MCO population. To facilitate improvement, the MCOs will support joint collaborative interventions as well as individual MCO specific strategies.

Access project resources here.

Improving Comprehensive Diabetes Care Improvement Project

This PIP focuses on decreasing the health disparity gap in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) and/or process measures chosen year over year, from 2021 thru 2023, by improving member’s self-management of their diabetes. To be able to reduce the disparities in diabetes, UCare and each participating MCO will look to the already present evidence-based programs to address the many factors that influence health. These factors include access to nutritious food and options for physical activity through a collaborative approach between both health care and non-health care. This approach aims to improve diabetes and addresses the social and environmental factors that affect vulnerable populations.

Access project resources here.

Previous PIPS and Projects:

Reducing Chronic Opioid Use Improvement Project

The focus of the 2018 Opioid PIP was to reduce the number of enrollees that are new chronic users of opioid pain relievers. The PIP encompassed PMAP, MnCare, UCare Connect (SNBC), UCare Connect + Medicare, UCare’s Minnesota Senior Health Options and Minnesota Senior Care Plus product enrollees. UCare also focused on the Medicare population, including UCare Medicare Plans and EssentiaCare products.

Reducing Chronic Opioid Use

Pain Management and Opioids Guide for Consumers

Dental Access Improvement Project

The project began in May 2017 with a goal to improve dental access for Special Needs BasicCare (SNBC) members through collaborative interventions and efforts between Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s), Minnesota DHS, DHS Direct Care and Treatment Dental Clinics and other applicable stakeholders. The project improved dental access through community education, obtainment of feedback from stakeholders, members and providers, as well as the implementation of primary interventions (the special needs community dentist and staff mentoring program, dental case management and a teledentistry demonstration project).

Access project resources here.

Antidepressant Medication Management and Depression Improvement Project

Five health plans launched the Antidepressant Medication Management project in the spring of 2015. Interventions included working with providers and partners to support efforts to improve adherence to antidepressant medication, with a particular focus on reducing ethnic and racial disparities.

In 2016, the health plans combined the Antidepressant Medication Management activities with a depression project focused on diagnosis and treatment of depression in the senior/Medicare population.

Access project resources here.

Chlamydia Screening for Women Improvement Project

Four health plans launched the Chlamydia Screening for Women initiative in early 2013. Interventions included working with providers to increase chlamydia screening rates in the clinical setting, supporting the Minnesota Chlamydia Partnership and collaborating with key organizations to implement goals and strategies outlined in the Minnesota Chlamydia Strategy to raise screening across Minnesota.

Access project resources here.

Visit UCare’s Sexual Health webpage to learn more and explore resources related to:
 
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Confidentiality
  • Teens & Sex
  • HPV Vaccine
  • Cervical Cancer: Know Your Risks
  • Next Steps
  • UCare Resources

Additional resources:

Chlamydia Screening Provider Toolkit

Privacy and Rights Flyer

Provider tips for how to improve Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) scores.

UCare is committed to helping providers work with UCare members who face decisions regarding next steps in their care. In the coming months, we will be implementing a program to work with providers and our members to help build shared patient-centered decision-making into provider-patient interactions.
 
The Informed Medical Decision Making Foundation describes shared decision-making as such:
 
  • Shared decision making (SDM) is a collaborative process that allows patients and providers to make health care treatment decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient’s values and preferences.
  • SDM honors both the provider’s expert knowledge and the patient’s right to be fully informed of all care options and the potential harms and benefits. This process provides patients with the support they need to make the best individualized care decisions, while allowing providers to feel confident in the care they prescribe.
One of the resources UCare shared with our members is a webpage titled My Health Decisions, available for them through UCare’s website. This useful content from the Informed Medical Decision Making Foundation will help patients understand a wide range of health conditions—from low back pain to cancer—so they make informed decisions about their care options.
 
Shared Decision-Making Resources:
Mayo Clinic Depression Medication Choice Decision Aid: https://depressiondecisionaid.mayoclinic.org/index