California Hospitals Cite Issues With CMS Data on Blood Infection Rates
The California Hospital Association is challenging the validity of CMS data that show some California hospitals have blood infection rates that are considerably higher than the national average, Payers & Providers reports.
Earlier this month, CMS posted the data on HHS' Hospital Compare website.
The American Hospital Association and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement also have questioned the data.
CMS data show that the national rate for blood infections from catheters in a large vein is 0.367 per 1,000 discharges.
By comparison, the data show significantly higher rates for some California hospitals, including a rate of:
- 1.785 at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center;
- 1.723 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; and
- 0.928 at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Details on CHA's Data Concerns
Debby Rogers -- vice president of quality and emergency services for CHA -- said the Hospital Compare data are based on hospital discharge information compiled by medical coders instead of clinical data from physicians.
She added that the use of coding data for quality measure reporting is fairly new and that hospitals are better at using data from patient charts.
In addition, Rogers said that CMS' data did not include a sample size-related margin of error, without which "there's no way of telling how accurate they are" (Payers & Providers, 10/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.