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Data Sources and Methodology for UtahHealthScape.org

Data Sources

Data presented on UtahHealthScape.org come from a variety of sources.

Demographic data (including contact information, specialization, etc.) come from:

In addition, healthcare organizations and providers themselves may update and/or modify their profile information to include information of interest to consumers.

Data on health insurance market share come from the Utah Insurance Department's Health Insurance Market Reports, which are updated annually. Multiple plan types from a single insurance company may be combined to display an overall market share rate.

Data on health care quality and patient satisfaction/experience measures come from:

For more information on how the data is collected by these various organizations and limitations on how the data may be interpreted, please visit their websites.

Measures

For health care quality measures, each rate is calculated based on a numerator divided by a denominator. The numerator represents the number of people who actually received a recommended health care service and the denominator represents the number of people who should have received that health care service. We calculated these results as the percent of people who received the health care service for each type of health care organization, such as a hospital or health insurance plan.

For patient experience or satisfaction measures, each rate is calculated based on a numerator divided by a denominator. The numerator represents the number of people who responded to a question about their experience of care in a certain way and the denominator represents the number of people who were asked a question about their experience of care. We calculated these results as the percent of people who answered the experience or satisfaction question in a certain way for each type of health care organization, such as a hospital or health insurance plan.

We selected measures presented on UtahHealthScape.org with input from key stakeholders, such as consumers, health insurance companies, and health care providers. Factors considered in selection include national endorsement, clinical value, and measure reliability.

Information on the specific measures used on UtahHealthScape.org can be found at:

Download a list of the official titles for HEDIS and CAHPS measures.

Methodology

In general, rates for care quality and patient satisfaction measures presented on UtahHealthScape.org were calculated by the organizations from which we obtained the data and have not been transformed or recalculated in any way. For measures that are summarized as “above benchmark”, “average”, or “below benchmark”, we used the national 25th and 75th percentile scores to separate the providers or plans into categories of performance. For example, a health insurance plan scoring at or above the national 75th percentile on a measure of diabetes care would be labeled as “above benchmark” on that measure. A hospital scoring at or below the national 25th percentile on a measure of heart attack patients given aspirin at arrival would be labeled as “below benchmark.” Whenever available, we presented the state and national averages for comparison.

Summary scores for hospital Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, and Surgical Infection Prevention were calculated for UtahHealthScape. The Hospital Compare website presents several individual measures for each of these four topics, and we rolled those individual measures up into topical composite scores to summarize overall care for these measures. We calculated the composite score by summing the numerators and denominators for the individual measures making up the topic score. 

For hospital Readmissions data, the percentage of patients readmitted reported on the site represents the actual number of readmissions. The benchmark score that was assigned reflects adjustment, done by Hospital Compare, for the rate of expected readmissions. The chart below shows the alignment between UtahHealthScape and Hospital Compare designations.

UtahHealthScape   Hospital Compare
Above Benchmark  Better Than US National Rate
At Benchmark No Different Than US National Rate
Below Benchmark Worse Than US National Rate

 

Summary scores for health plans are based on a representative measure. Download the list of representative measures for summary scores.

For nursing home data, Fire and Health Safety scores are a count of the total number of inspection violations that were considered severe violations. Severe violations are those that have the potential to cause immediate harm and broad enough scope to affect many residents of the nursing home (violation classes H-L on an A-L scale). The Summary Health and Fire Safety score is the sum of both the Fire and Health scores added together. The scores presented for Staff Time are the actual number of hours per day, per resident, in which staff have direct contact with residents. The Summary Staff Time score is calculated by adding the times for the licensed nurse staff, CNA staff, and physical therapy staff all together.

Interpretation

It is important to remember that there is more to quality than just the information presented on UtahHealthScape.org. UtahHealthScape.org represents a subset of measures, for a subset of the population, for a subset of health care entities. In other words, not all health care services provided to patients are represented by the measures on this website; not all patients of a health care entity are represented in all measures (some are derived from a sample of patients); and not all health care entities reported on all possible measures.

Furthermore, some measures are affected by factors which are beyond the control of a doctor or hospital. For example, a doctor may order an eye test for a patient with diabetes, but the patient may not follow through on getting the eye test for their own reasons (cost, lack of time or transportation, etc.).

You should not make assumptions about why certain measures or information may be missing. It could be that there are no measures yet defined for the type of health care service or treatment you are looking for, or perhaps too few patients received a service to report a rate and measures are not reported if the sample size is too small. Missing information does not necessarily mean the hospital or health plan refused to provide the information; they just may not have had enough information to reliably report the information.

In many cases, the information reported may come from health care claims, which are bills submitted by the healthcare provider to an insurance company or other payer when a service is rendered. There are many limitations to this kind of data collection, because the healthcare organization may have provided a service, but did not submit a bill for it. The information provided on UtahHealthScape.org provides a snapshot view of certain kinds of healthcare services and can be used to help you make healthcare decisions, but you should not rely on UtahHealthScape.org as the sole source of your information.

For more information about how to interpret the data in this website, please refer to the UtahHealthScape.org Terms & Conditions.