Comparison of 30-Day Mortality Models for Profiling Hospital Performance in Acute Ischemic Stroke With vs Without Adjustment for Stroke Severity July 18, 2012
There is increasing interest in reporting risk-standardized outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with acute ischemic stroke, but whether it is necessary to include adjustment for initial stroke severity has not been well studied.

Objective  To evaluate the degree to which hospital outcome ratings and potential eligibility for financial incentives are altered after including initial stroke severity in a claims-based risk model for hospital 30-day mortality for acute ischemic stroke.

Design, Setting, and Patients  Data were analyzed from 782 Get With The Guidelines–Stroke participating hospitals on 127 950 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with ischemic stroke who had a score documented for the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS, a 15-item neurological examination scale with scores from 0 to 42, with higher scores indicating more severe stroke) between April 2003 and December 2009. Performance of claims-based hospital mortality risk models with and without inclusion of NIHSS scores for 30-day mortality was evaluated and hospital rankings from both models were compared.

Main Outcomes Measures  Model discrimination, hospital 30-day mortality outcome rankings, and value-based purchasing financial incentive categories. Read More