Objective Develop an improved method for auditing hospital cost and quality. Data Sources/Setting Medicare claims in general, gynecologic and urologic surgery, and orthopedics from Illinois, Texas, and New York between 2004 and 2006. Study Design A template of 300 representative patients was constructed and then used to match 300 patients at hospitals that had a minimum of 500 patients over a 3-year study period. Data Collection/Extraction Methods From each of 217 hospitals we chose 300 patients most resembling the template using multivariate matching. Principal Findings The matching algorithm found close matches on procedures and patient characteristics, far more balanced than measured covariates would be in a randomized clinical trial
Author Archives: Health Services Research
Objective To better understand the issue of inappropriate pediatric Emergency Department (ED) visits in Italy, including the impact of the last National Health System reform. Study Design A retrospective cohort study was conducted with five health care providers in the Veneto region (Italy) in a 2-year period (2010–2011). ED visits were considered inappropriate by evaluating both nursing triage and resource utilization, as addressed by the Italian Ministry of Health in 2007. Factors associated with inappropriate ED visits were identified.
Objective To study whether neonatal and infant mortality, after adjustments for differences in case mix, were independent of the type of hospital in which the delivery was carried out. Data The Medical Birth Registry of Norway provided detailed medical information for all births in Norway. Study Design Hospitals were classified into two groups: local hospitals/maternity clinics versus central/regional hospitals. Outcomes were neonatal and infant mortality. The data were analyzed using propensity score weighting to make adjustments for differences in case mix between the two groups of hospitals.
Objective To estimate the impact of Express Lane Eligible (ELE) implementation on Medicaid/CHIP enrollment in eight states. Data Sources/Study Setting 2007 to 2011 data from the Statistical Enrollment Data System (SEDS) on Medicaid/CHIP enrollment. Study Design We estimate difference-in-difference equations, with quarter and state fixed effects. The key independent variable is an indicator for whether the state had ELE in place in the given quarter, allowing the experience of statistically matched non-ELE states to serve as a formal counterfactual against which to assess the changes in the eight ELE states.
Objective We examined the concurrent and lagged effects of registered nurse (RN) turnover on unit-acquired pressure ulcer rates and whether RN staffing mediated the effects. Data Sources/Setting Quarterly unit-level data were obtained from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators for 2008 to 2010. A total of 10,935 unit-quarter observations (2,294 units, 465 hospitals) were analyzed. Methods This longitudinal study used multilevel regressions and tested time-lagged effects of study variables on outcomes.
Objective To evaluate the effect of medical home implementation on primary care delivery in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Data Sources/Study Setting/Study Design We link interview-based qualitative data on medical home implementation to quantitative outcomes from VHA clinical encounter data. We use a longitudinal analysis with provider fixed effects (taking advantage of variation in timing of implementation and allowing each provider to serve as a control for him or herself) to test whether patient-aligned care team (PACT) implementation was associated with changes in organizational processes and patient outcomes. Principal Findings Among 683 PCPs, caring for 321,295 patients, the uptake of eight of nine PACT structural changes significantly increased from July 2010 to June 2012 as did the percentage of primary care appointments occurring by telephone and hospital discharges contacted within 2 days of discharge. We found that PACT implementation was associated with significant improvements in 2-day post-hospital discharge contact, but not primary care visits occurring by telephone or within 3 days of the requested date
Objective To investigate whether previously noted associations between health literacy and functional health status might be explained by cognitive function. Data Sources/Study Setting Health Literacy and Cognition in Older Adults (LitCog, prospective study funded by National Institute on Aging). Data presented are from interviews conducted among 784 adults, ages 55–74 years receiving care at an academic general medicine clinic or one of four federally qualified health centers in Chicago from 2008 to 2010. Study Design Study participants completed structured, in-person interviews administered by trained research assistants.
Objective To determine whether quality measures based on computer-extracted EHR data can reproduce findings based on data manually extracted by reviewers. Data Sources We studied 12 measures of care indicated for adolescent well-care visits for 597 patients in three pediatric health systems. Study Design Observational study. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Manual reviewers collected quality data from the EHR. Site personnel programmed their EHR systems to extract the same data from structured fields in the EHR according to national health IT standards
Objective To examine how different response scales, methods of survey administration, and survey format affect responses to the CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Clinician and Group (CG-CAHPS) survey. Study Design A total of 6,500 patients from a university health center were randomly assigned to receive the following: standard 12-page mail surveys using 4-category or 6-category response scales (on CG-CAHPS composite items), telephone surveys using 4-category or 6-category response scales, or four-page mail surveys. Principal Findings A total of 3,538 patients completed surveys. Composite score means and provider-level reliabilities did not differ between respondents receiving 4-category or 6-category response scale surveys or between 12-page and four-page mail surveys.
Objective Examine how widely used statistical benchmarks of health care provider performance compare with histogram-based statistical benchmarks obtained via hierarchical Bayesian modeling. Data Sources Publicly available data from 3,240 hospitals during April 2009–March 2010 on two process-of-care measures reported on the Medicare Hospital Compare website. Study Design Secondary data analyses of two process-of-care measures comparing statistical benchmark estimates and threshold exceedance determinations under various combinations of hospital performance measure estimates and benchmarking approaches. Principal Findings Statistical benchmarking approaches for determining top 10 percent performance varied with respect to which hospitals exceeded the performance benchmark; such differences were not found at the 50 percent threshold. Benchmarks derived from the histogram of provider performance under hierarchical Bayesian modeling provide a compromise between benchmarks based on direct (raw) estimates, which are overdispersed relative to the true distribution of provider performance and prone to high variance for small providers, and posterior mean provider performance, for which over-shrinkage and under-dispersion relative to the true provider performance distribution is a concern.
Objective To understand patient loyalty to providers over time, informing effective population health management. Study Setting Patient care-seeking patterns over a 6-year timeframe in Minnesota, where care systems have a significant portion of their revenue generated by shared-saving contracts with public and private payers. Study Design Weibull duration and probit models were used to examine patterns of patient attribution to a care system and the continuity of patient affiliation with a care system. Clustering of errors within family unit was used to account for within-family correlation in unobserved characteristics that affect patient loyalty. Data Collection The payer provided data from health plan administrative files, matched to U.S.
Objective To compare cost estimates for hospital stays calculated using diagnosis-related group (DRG) weights to actual Medicare payments. Data Sources/Study Setting Medicare MedPAR files and DRG tables linked to participant data from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) from 1992 through 2010. Participants were women age 65 and older recruited in three metropolitan and one rural area of the United States. Study Design Costs were estimated using DRG payment weights for 1,397 hospital stays for 795 SOF participants for 1 year following a hip fracture.
In their recent Health Services Research article, Brooks and Ohsfeldt () addressed an important topic on the balancing property of the propensity score (PS) with respect to unmeasured covariates. They concluded that PS methods that balance measured covariates between treated and untreated subjects exacerbate imbalance in unmeasured covariates that are unrelated to measured covariates. Furthermore, they emphasized that for PS algorithms, an imbalance on unmeasured covariates between treatment and untreated subjects is a necessary condition to achieve balance on measured covariates between the groups. We argue that these conclusions are the results of their assumptions on the mechanism of treatment allocation. In addition, we discuss the underlying assumptions of PS methods, their advantages compared with multivariate regression methods, as well as the interpretation of the effect estimates from PS methods.
Objectives To examine the association of changing urologists on surgical complications in men with prostate cancer. Data Sources/Study Setting Registry and administrative claims data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database from 1995 to 2005. Study Design A cross-sectional observational study of men with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. Methods Subjects were classified as having changed urologists if they had a different urologist who diagnosed their cancer from the one who performed their surgery. Doubly robust propensity score weighted multivariable logistic regression models were used to investigate the effect of changing urologists on 30-day surgical complications, late urinary complications, and long-term incontinence