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Article
October 17, 1990

Measuring Quality of Care With Explicit Process Criteria Before and After Implementation of the DRG-Based Prospective Payment System

Author Affiliations

From the Health Program of the RAND Corp, Santa Monica, Calif (Drs Kahn, Rogers, Rubenstein, Sherwood, Keeler, Draper, and Brook and Ms Reinisch); the Departments of Medicine (Drs Kahn, Rubenstein, Kosecoff, and Brook) and Health Services (Drs Kosecoff and Brook), UCLA; and Value Health Sciences Inc, Santa Monica (Dr Kosecoff).

From the Health Program of the RAND Corp, Santa Monica, Calif (Drs Kahn, Rogers, Rubenstein, Sherwood, Keeler, Draper, and Brook and Ms Reinisch); the Departments of Medicine (Drs Kahn, Rubenstein, Kosecoff, and Brook) and Health Services (Drs Kosecoff and Brook), UCLA; and Value Health Sciences Inc, Santa Monica (Dr Kosecoff).

JAMA. 1990;264(15):1969-1973. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150069033
Abstract

We developed explicit process criteria and scales for Medicare patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, pneumonia, cerebrovascular accident, and hip fracture. We applied the process scales to a nationally representative sample of 14 012 patients hospitalized before and after the implementation of the diagnosis related group—based prospective payment system. For the four medical diseases, a better process of care resulted in lower mortality rates 30 days after admission. Patients in the upper quartile of process scores had a 30-day mortality rate 5% lower than that of patients in the lower quartile. The process of care improved after the introduction of the prospective payment system; eg, better nursing care after the introduction of the prospective payment system was associated with an expected decrease in 30-day mortality rates in pneumonia patients of 0.8 percentage points, and better physician cognitive performance was associated with an expected decrease in 30-day mortality rates of 0.4 percentage points. Overall, process improvements across all four medical conditions were associated with a 1 percentage point reduction in 30-day mortality rates after the introduction of the prospective payment system.

(JAMA. 1990;264:1969-1973)

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