Article: Risk-Standardized Home Time as a Novel Hospital Performance Metric for Pneumonia Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries: a Retrospective Cohort Study
Authors: Rajeshwari Nair, Yubo Gao, Mary S Vaughan-Sarrazin, Eli Perencevich, Saket Girotra, Ambarish Pandey
Journal: J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Apr 26. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06712-w. Online ahead of print.
Background: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) use hospital readmissions as a performance metric to incentivize hospital care for acute conditions including pneumonia. However, there are limitations to using readmission alone as a hospital performance metric.
Objective: To characterize 30-day risk-standardized home time (RSHT), a novel patient-centered post-discharge performance metric for acute pneumonia hospitalizations in Medicare patients, and compare hospital rankings based on this metric with mortality and readmissions.
Study design: Retrospective, cohort study.
Participants: A cohort of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries admitted between January 01, 2015 and November 30, 2017.
Main measures: Risk-standardized hospital-level home time within 30 days of discharge was evaluated as a novel performance metric. Multilevel regression models were used to calculate hospital-level estimates and rank hospitals based on RSHT, readmission rate (RSRR), and mortality rate (RSMR).
Key results: A total of 1.7 million pneumonia admissions admitted to one of the 3116 hospitals were eligible for inclusion. The median 30-day RSHT was 20.5 days (interquartile range: 18.9-21.9 days; range: 5-29 days). Hospital-level characteristics such as case volume, bed size, for-profit ownership, rural location of the hospital, teaching status, and participation in the bundled payment program were significantly associated with home time. We found a modest, inverse correlation of RSHT with RSRR (rho: -0.233, p< 0.0001) and RSMR (rho: -0.223, p< 0.0001) for pneumonia. About 1/3rd of hospitals were reclassified as high performers based on their RSHT metric compared with the rank on their RSRR and RSMR metrics.
Conclusion: Home time is a novel, patient-centered, hospital-level metric that can be easily calculated using claims data and accounts for mortality, readmission to an acute care facility, and admission to a skilled nursing facility or long-term care facility after discharge. Utilization of this patient-centered metric could have policy implications in assessing hospital performance on delivery of healthcare to pneumonia patients.
Link to journal online: