Examining the Applicability of the AHRQ's Inpatient Quality Indicators to Rural Hospitals and the Implications of the Relationship Between the Indicators and Financial Measures for Medicare Payment Policies

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2004
Project completed:
January 2012

Since the populations served by rural hospitals and urban hospitals are quite different, their quality concerns may also be different. As standardized quality measures for hospital reporting are developed, it is critical that differences between rural hospitals and urban hospitals are considered. This study will determine whether the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) inpatient quality indicators (IQIs), which were developed without consideration of an urban/rural difference, are appropriate for use in rural hospitals.

This study will be divided into two components. The first component will investigate how AHRQ's IQIs can be applied to rural hospitals. The second component will explore the application of AHRQ's IQIs in answering relevant policy questions. The findings of this study are expected to inform policymakers about how standardized quality measures can be adjusted for rural hospitals and to provide useful information about the relationship between standardized quality measures and financial performance among rural hospitals, information that can be used when policymakers try to incorporate a quality element into Medicare's payment system.

Products of this research will include a policy brief and journal manuscripts.

There may be products related to this project; please contact the lead researcher for more information.