Relevant Quality Measures for CAHs (Policy Brief #25)


The increased use of quality data for reporting and payment purposes has made it imperative to examine the rural-relevance of hospital quality measures. This brief provides the results of these efforts.

Key Findings:

  • A comprehensive set of quality measures are relevant for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), including those addressing appropriate care for inpatients with specific medical conditions, global measures addressing appropriate care across multiple medical conditions, and Emergency Department measures.
  • Although CAHs have low volume for some measures, they are relevant because they address serious conditions, are based on strong evidence, and reflect the standard of care that all hospitals should aim to provide for every patient.
  • Many relevant quality measures are now ready for reporting by CAHs.
  • The reporting burden for CAHs would be significantly reduced if all entities involved in regulation, accreditation, and payment agree on a single set of quality measures.
  • To motivate improvement in the quality of care and help patients make informed decisions in selecting health care providers, all CAHs should publicly report on relevant quality measures.


MBQIP Quality Quality Improvement