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About the Data

 

Where do the data come from?

Most of the data in this report come from hospital claim records. Utah hospitals are required by law to submit a standard set of information about each patient who spends at least one night in the hospital to the Office of Health Care Statistics, Utah Department of Health, for the Utah Hospital Discharge Database. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a federal agency charged with overseeing quality of care, provided national information.  For further information, visit the AHRQ Web site.

Have the data been verified by others?

Yes. Utah hospitals review the data for accuracy during a review period of at least 30 days while the report is being developed.  They also review the completed report before it is released.  Hospitals may submit comments to be posted online as part of the report.

Why use these indicators/measures?

SB 132 mandates that the comparison reports use nationally recognized quality and safety standards.  A federal agency charged with overseeing health care quality, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), developed the Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) and the Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs). The IQIs and PSIs allow comparison among Utah hospitals and other U.S. hospitals that treated similar patients. The report shows two IQIs and three PSIs for maternity and newborn conditions and procedures.  For more information on the AHRQ IQIs, visit  http://www.qualityindicators.ahrq.gov/iqi_overview.htm

For more information on the AHRQ PSIs, visit http://www.qualityindicators.ahrq.gov/psi_overview.htm

Measures for average charge are All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRGs) for similar, though not identical, maternity and newborn conditions and procedures.  For this reason, the numbers of patients for APR-DRGs and similar IQIs and PSIs are not the same.  Also, keep in mind that for Newborn Injuries (PSI 17), three years of data are used, while a single year is used for charge, the other PSIs and IQIs.  For more information on APR-DRGs, visit http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3M_Health_Information_Systems/HIS/Products/APRDRG_Software/

What are the limitations of quality comparisons in the report?

Many factors affect a hospital’s performance on quality and safety measures. Such factors include the hospital’s size, the number of maternity and newborn cases, available specialists, teaching status and especially the medical history of the hospital’s patients and how ill those patients are. Hospitals that care for women with high-risk pregnancies may have higher rates of injuries to mothers and newborns and higher rates of newborns with problems than hospitals that transfer these patients.  Hospitals may also report patient diagnosis codes differently, which could impact the accuracy of quality measurement among hospitals. The quality indicators adjust for how ill each hospital’s patients are, but the adjustment may not be adequate. The Utah Hospital Discharge Database includes up to nine diagnoses and up to six procedures for each patient. Some patients have additional diagnoses and procedures that are not included in this database. As a result, the measures of patient illness may not be accurate. See Glossary and Technical Document for more about maternity and newborn indicators.

What are the limitations of the charge comparisons in the report?

The average charge shown in this report differs from “costs,” “reimbursement,” “price” and “payment.” Different payers have different arrangements with each hospital for payment. Many factors will affect the cost of your hospital stay, including whether you have health insurance, the type of insurance and the billing procedures at the hospital.  This report excludes outlier (unusually high) charge cases and length of stay cases from the calculation of average charge (see Glossary).  The charge indicators used in this report do not distinguish between newborns that were born at one hospital and transferred to another the day of their birth and those that were not transferred.  While APR-DRGs do consider levels for each patient’s severity of illness, these levels may not completely reflect the complexity of the patient’s condition.

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Last updated: December 7, 2009 12:18 PM