Alternative Risk-Adjustment Approaches to Assessing the Quality of Home Health Care: Final Report. RISK-ADJUSTMENT OF HEALTH CARE QUALITY MEASURES


Risk-adjustment is a critical tool in the evaluation of health care quality. Its aim is to “level the playing field” so that providers serving different patients can be meaningfully compared (Johnson, 2003). Many of the risk-adjustment methods developed and implemented to date are designed to account for differences in patients’ health status when determining payment rates in public programs. The limited diffusion of risk-adjustment methods for assessing the quality of health care may be due to the multiple dimensions of quality, cost of appropriate data, and technical complexity of risk-adjustment methods. Blumenthal and colleagues (2005) argue that greater attention needs to be paid to simplicity, practicality and the intuitive appeal of risk-adjustment methods to increase diffusion and the effective use of this tool.

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