Multilevel Quality Indicators (MQI): Methodology and Monte Carlo evidence

by   Martin Roessler, et al.

Background: Quality indicators are frequently used to assess the performance of healthcare providers, in particular hospitals. Established approaches to the design of such indicators are subject to distortions due to indirect standardization and high variance of estimators. Indicators for geographical regions are rarely considered. Objectives: To develop and evaluate a methodology of Multilevel Quality Indicators (MQI) for both healthcare providers and geographical regions. Research Design: We formally derived MQI from a statistical multilevel model, which may include characteristics of patients, providers, and regions. We used Monte Carlo simulation to assess the performance of MQI relative to established approaches based on the standardized mortality/morbidity ratio (SMR) and the risk-standardized mortality rate (RSMR). Measures: Rank correlation between true provider/region effects and quality indicator estimates; shares of the 10 by the quality indicators. Results: The proposed MQI are 1) standardized hospital outcome rate (SHOR), 2) regional SHOR (RSHOR), and 3) regional standardized patient outcome rate (RSPOR). Monte Carlo simulations indicated that the SHOR provides substantially better estimates of provider performance than the SMR and RSMR in almost all scenarios. RSPOR was slightly more stable than the regional SMR. We also found that modeling of regional characteristics generally improves the adequacy of provider-level estimates. Conclusions: MQI methodology facilitates adequate and efficient estimation of quality indicators for both healthcare providers and geographical regions.


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