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Study finds Milwaukee-area hospitals more similar in quality achievement than cost efficiency

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Costs vary more than quality at Milwaukee-area hospitals, according to a new study from HCTrends -‘Measuring the Quality Achievement and Costefficiency‘. Building on the hospital efficiency studies it published in 2008, 2009 and 2011, HCTrends added a quality component to create a quality/cost-efficiency matrix for comparing hospitals and health systems.

The study, which included hospital and quality data from 2011, found that:

  • There is a 37-percentage point variation in the severity-adjusted cost efficiency between the highest performing system and the lowest performing system
  • There is an 8-percentage-point variation in quality achievement between the highest performing system and the lowest performing system

In order to develop its Quality Achievement Index (QAI), HCTrends reviewed more than 275 quality measurements used by state and national organizations, including the Joint Commission, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Quality Forum. Working with the Wisconsin Hospital Association, HCTrends selected 25 outcome, clinical process and patient experience measures that are used in state and national pay-for-performance models, including Wisconsin’s Medicaid program and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program.

A statewide report that will compare hospitals and health systems by region throughout Wisconsin is slated to be released shortly.

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