Public Reporting Doesn't Improve Mortality Rates

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Public Reporting Doesn't Improve Mortality Rates
Public Reporting Doesn't Improve Mortality Rates

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Among Medicare patients, public reporting of mortality rates was associated with a slowing in the ongoing decrease in mortality rates, according to a study published online May 31 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Karen E. Joynt, M.D., M.P.H., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined whether public reporting of mortality rates correlated with lower mortality rates among 20,707,266 Medicare beneficiaries. Process-only reporting was considered for 2005 to 2007; for 2008 to 2012, process and mortality reporting were considered. Using patient-level hierarchical modeling, the authors estimated the changes in mortality trends before and during reporting periods.

The researchers found that during the process-only reporting period, for the three publicly reported conditions, mortality rates were changing at an absolute rate of −0.23 percent per quarter; during the process and mortality reporting period this rate slowed to −0.09 percent. For non-reported conditions, during process-only reporting mortality was changing at −0.17 percent per quarter, which slowed to −0.11 percent per quarter during the process and mortality reporting.

"Changes in mortality trends suggest that reporting in Hospital Compare was associated with a slowing, rather than an improvement, in the ongoing decline in mortality among Medicare patients," the authors write.

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