Analysis of CAH Inpatient Hospitalizations and Transfers: Implications for National Quality Measurement and Reporting (Briefing Paper #13)

Publication Date: Oct 2006
Author(s): Casey MM, Burlew M
Research Center(s): Minnesota
Project: Analyzing Quality Reporting and Improvement of CAHs
Topic(s): Quality
Notes: Briefing Paper #13

The purpose of this project is to assess the implications of CAH inpatient hospitalizations and transfers from CAHs to other hospitals for national quality measurement and reporting, and to help inform the development of quality indicators for CAHs focused on the transfer process.


The report examines inpatient hospitalizations in CAHs and transfers from CAHs to other acute care settings, using hospital discharge data from nine states available through AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP).


The top 20 CAH DRGs accounted for over half of inpatient CAH admissions during 2001-2004. Respiratory and cardiac conditions that are common among the elderly, including pneumonia, heart failure, chest pain, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranked high among CAH DRGs. These results confirm the importance of pneumonia and heart failure as CAH conditions to be assessed by national quality measures. In addition, they indicate that labor/delivery and newborn care remain important CAH diagnoses, and suggest that quality measures focused on those diagnoses would be relevant for CAHs that provide obstetrical care.