Changes in Quality of Care for Five Diseases Measured By Implicit Review, 1981 to 1986

Published in: JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 264, no. 15, Oct. 17, 1990, p. 1974-1979

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1990

by Lisa V. Rubenstein, Katherine L. Kahn, Ellen J. Reinisch, Marjorie J. Sherwood, William H. Rogers, Caren Kamberg, David Draper, Robert H. Brook

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In this study, the authors measured quality of care before and after implementation of the prospective payment system. A structured implicit review form was developed and applied to a sample of 1366 Medicare patients with congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, cerebrovascular accident, or hip fracture who were hospitalized in 1981-1982 or 1985-1986. Very poor quality of care was associated with increased death rates 30 days after admission (17% with very good care died vs. 30% with very poor care). The quality of medical care improved between 1981-1982 and 1985-1986 (from 25% receiving poor or very poor care to 12%), although more patients were judged to have been discharged too soon and in unstable condition (7% vs. 4%). Except for discharge planning processes, the quality of hospital care has continued to improve for Medicare patients despite, or because of, the introduction of the prospective payment system with its accompanying professional review organization review.

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