The US health care system’s ongoing transition to value-based care has brought a dramatic increase in the number of hospital quality metrics over the past decade. Many of these metrics (e.g. Maryland’s Quality Based Reimbursement Mortality, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Sepsis Core Measure) are based on hospital claims data or chart abstraction.
In a study published June 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Johns Hopkins researchers interviewed quality metric reporting personnel at Johns Hopkins Hospital to estimate the effort involved in reporting inpatient quality metrics for adult patients in 2018, independent of any efforts to design and carry out actual quality and safety interventions. The investigators found significant resources are expended exclusively for quality reporting, with most of these resources spent on claims-based and chart-abstracted metrics. In contrast, electronic metrics consumed far fewer person-hours and costs. The findings suggest policy makers should consider reducing the overall number of metrics and should develop more electronic metrics to optimize resources spent in the pursuit of higher quality.