• Study
  • Published October 2016

Using harm-based weights for the AHRQ Patient Safety for Selected Indicators composite (PSI-90): does it affect assessment of hospital performance and financial penalties in Veterans Health Administration hospitals?

  • Cite
    Copy Citation:

    Download Citation File:

The AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) use hospitals' administrative data to measure quality and carry financial consequences for hospitals as part of pay-for-performance initiatives. Prior research has raised concerns about the validity of PSIs compared with directly using clinical data to identify safety events. AHRQ recently restructured PSI-90 (a composite measure containing multiple distinct PSIs) from volume-based to harm-based weighting. Using data from 132 Veterans Health Administration hospitals, this retrospective study compared hospital performance using the previous PSI-90 with performance under the redesigned measure. Although there was strong association between the volume-based and harm-based PSI-90 measures, use of the harm-based version had a significant impact on pay-for-performance because of changes in the weights of the component measures. Approximately 15% of hospitals in the study would face changes in financial penalties under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program when using the new PSI-90. A past PSNet perspective discussed the impact of pay-for-performance.

Back to Top