Assessing the Rural Relevance of Hospital Outpatient Quality Measures

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2009
Project completed:
August 2011
Statement of the problem: Initial efforts to develop hospital quality measures focused on inpatient settings, but quality measures focused on outpatient settings are of increasing interest to policymakers. A few outpatient measures have been field-tested in rural hospitals, but most measures have not been assessed for their rural relevancy.

Project goals: The purpose of this project is to: 1) determine the diagnoses that are most commonly treated and the procedures most commonly performed in rural hospital outpatient settings; 2) to evaluate the rural relevance of the proposed new CMS outpatient quality measures and other potential outpatient quality measures. Methods: This project will have three parts: 1) an analysis of outpatient Medicare data to identify the most common diagnoses and procedures in rural hospital outpatient settings; 2) a review of the literature and specifications for outpatient quality measures proposed by CMS and other potential outpatient measures; and 3) an expert panel to evaluate the rural relevance of the measures.

Anticipated Publications or Products: The products for this project will include a final report, a policy brief, an article that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, and presentation abstracts that will be submitted to state, regional and national conferences.

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