Context: 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. Results: Across the study population, the mean (SD) NIHSS score was 8.23 (8.11) (median, 5; interquartile range, 2-12). There were 18 186 deaths (14.5%) within the first 30 days, including 7430 deaths (5.8%) during the index hospitalization. The hospital mortality model with NIHSS scores had significantly better discrimination than the model without (C statistic, 0.864; 95% CI, 0.861-0.867, vs 0.772; 95% CI, 0.769-0.776; P<.001). Among hospitals ranked in the top 20% or bottom 20% of performers by the claims model without NIHSS scores, 26.3% were ranked differently by the model with NIHSS scores. Of hospitals initially classified as having "worse than expected" mortality, 57.7% were reclassified to "as expected" by the model with NIHSS scores. The net reclassification improvement (93.1%; 95% CI, 91.6%-94.6%; P<.001) and integrated discrimination improvement (15.0%; 95% CI, 14.6%-15.3%; P<.001) indexes both demonstrated significant enhancement of model performance after the addition of NIHSS. Explained variance and model calibration was also improved with the addition of NIHSS scores. Conclusion: Adding stroke severity as measured by the NIHSS to a hospital 30-day risk model based on claims data for Medicare beneficiaries with acute ischemic stroke was associated with considerably improved model discrimination and change in mortality performance rankings for a substantial portion of hospitals.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association|
|State||Published - Jul 18 2012|
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