Donna Dugan

“What an exciting time to be part of the healthcare environment as we transition from volume-based to value-based care. Performance measures will no doubt continue to be one of the integral components to understanding how well we are doing and where to focus our efforts to improve.”

Donna Dugan, a Vice President at Discern Health, leads and manages client projects, providing insight and subject matter expertise, particularly on quality measurement, health policy, and health services research. She mentors junior staff in project management and content development, as well as business development.

Through her work at Discern, Donna has evaluated the status of the quality measurement landscape in several therapeutic and topic areas and provided clients with strategic advice on the use of healthcare performance measures and tools, and on how to achieve success within the value-based marketplace. Donna has also been instrumental in developing and presenting on quality measurement and value-based purchasing program topics to a wide variety of stakeholders, including providers, health plans, and manufactures.

Before joining Discern, Donna was an independent consultant, working on quality measurement and health policy-related projects for organizations such the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the National Quality Forum, and the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. Donna also served as Director of Performance Measurement at NCQA, where she led the unit that developed and implemented Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures. Prior to her time at NCQA, Donna held positions at the National Cancer Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Acts Testing Labs, Inc., and North American Health Plans, Inc.; and has taught doctoral students through her adjunct instructor appointment at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Areas of Expertise:

  • HEDIS and quality measures
  • Measure gap-identification, development, selection, and use
  • Major health quality stakeholders

Recent Publications:

  • Valuck T, Blaisdell D, Dugan DP, Westrich K, Dubois RW, Miller RS, McClellan M. Improving Oncology Quality Measurement in Accountable Care: Filling Gaps with Cross-Cutting Measures. 2017. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 23(2):174-181.
  • Valuck, T., Dugan, D., Dubois, R. W., Westrich, K., Penso, J., & McClellan, M. 2015. Solutions for filling gaps in accountable care measure sets. American Journal of Managed Care, 21(10), 723-728.
  • Dugan DP, Mick SS, Scholle SH, Steidle EF, Goldberg DG. The Relationship between Organizational Culture and Practice Systems in Primary Care. 2011. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 34(1): 47-56.


  • PhD, Health Administration – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MS, Epidemiology – State University of New York at Buffalo
  • BS, Biology – Canisius College

Honors and Awards:

  • NCQA 2001 Annual Award for Dedication


  • Vienna, VA

Discern Completes Project With Holy Cross Hospital

Discern Health recently completed a project advising Holy Cross Hospital, a community hospital in Maryland with over 400 beds, on how to reduce unplanned 30-day readmissions. Holy Cross Hospital is a ...
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Discern Health and NPC Host Webinar on Strategies to Improve Oncology Measurement

On April 26, Discern Health partnered with the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) to host a webinar discussing the findings of the recently published “Improving Oncology Quality Measurement in Acco...
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