Donna Dugan

“What an exciting time to be part of the health care 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 Senior 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 focuses on business development as well as mentoring junior staff in project management and content development.

Through her work at Discern, Donna has evaluated the status of the quality measurement landscape in several therapeutic and topic areas. She has also provided clients with strategic advice on the use of health care performance measures and tools, and on how to achieve success within the value-based marketplace. Donna has 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 manufacturers.

Before joining Discern, Donna was an independent consultant, working on quality measurement and health-policy-related projects for organizations such as 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 she has taught doctoral students through her adjunct instructor appointment at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Areas of Expertise

  • HEDIS® and quality measures
  • Measure gap identification, development, selection, and use
  • Partnering with 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 Related Sciences w/concentration in 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

New Report: Recommendations for Patient and Family Engagement in Measure Development

Harnessing the stories, ideas, and innovations of patient and caregiver partners is the key to making measurement meaningful. With support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)...
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