One Less Quality Measure

Friday, October 5th, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

In an era where the industry is struggling to create a standardized set of quality measures, Paul Levy of Running a Hospital reports on the retiring earlier this year of a quality measure that is no longer needed simply because almost all hospitals and health plans are in compliance.

Referring to a report by Dr. Thomas Lee in the New England Journal of Medicine, Levy says the measuring the percentage of patients with acute myocardial infarction who receive a prescription for beta-blockers within 7 days of hospital discharge is no longer necessary:

…decade ago, only two thirds of US patients who survived acute myocardial infarctions recieved beta-blockers; today, nearly all do. As the curve representing the 10th percentile crept above 90%, the NCQA found little variation among health plans. At least when it comes to this intervention, the U.S. health care system has become reliable.

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