Risk-Standardized Home Time as a Novel Hospital Performance Metric for Pneumonia Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries: a Retrospective Cohort Study

Rajeshwari Nair, Yubo Gao, Mary S. Vaughan-Sarrazin, Eli Perencevich, Saket Girotra, Ambarish Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) use hospital readmissions as a performance metric to incentivize hospital care for acute conditions including pneumonia. However, there are limitations to using readmission alone as a hospital performance metric. Objective: To characterize 30-day risk-standardized home time (RSHT), a novel patient-centered post-discharge performance metric for acute pneumonia hospitalizations in Medicare patients, and compare hospital rankings based on this metric with mortality and readmissions. Study Design: Retrospective, cohort study. Participants: A cohort of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries admitted between January 01, 2015 and November 30, 2017. Interventions: None. Main Measures: Risk-standardized hospital-level home time within 30 days of discharge was evaluated as a novel performance metric. Multilevel regression models were used to calculate hospital-level estimates and rank hospitals based on RSHT, readmission rate (RSRR), and mortality rate (RSMR). Key Results: A total of 1.7 million pneumonia admissions admitted to one of the 3116 hospitals were eligible for inclusion. The median 30-day RSHT was 20.5 days (interquartile range: 18.9–21.9 days; range: 5–29 days). Hospital-level characteristics such as case volume, bed size, for-profit ownership, rural location of the hospital, teaching status, and participation in the bundled payment program were significantly associated with home time. We found a modest, inverse correlation of RSHT with RSRR (rho: −0.233, p< 0.0001) and RSMR (rho: −0.223, p< 0.0001) for pneumonia. About 1/3rd of hospitals were reclassified as high performers based on their RSHT metric compared with the rank on their RSRR and RSMR metrics. Conclusion: Home time is a novel, patient-centered, hospital-level metric that can be easily calculated using claims data and accounts for mortality, readmission to an acute care facility, and admission to a skilled nursing facility or long-term care facility after discharge. Utilization of this patient-centered metric could have policy implications in assessing hospital performance on delivery of healthcare to pneumonia patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3031-3039
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • CMS
  • home time
  • metrics
  • pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk-Standardized Home Time as a Novel Hospital Performance Metric for Pneumonia Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries: a Retrospective Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this