There has been significant discussion lately among researchers and policy-makers about whether or not to adjust provider quality measures for differences in patient characteristics. Lacking in this discussion, however, is an understanding of how adjustment should be done within a rural context and what impact it might have on patients and providers. The purposes of this project are, for three acute care conditions/diagnoses, to identify the key sociodemographic variables that may affect quality adjustment for rural populations/providers, identify data sources/strategies available for these variables, identify the quality measures (e.g. readmission rates) that should be adjusted for sociodemographic variables for rural populations/providers, and estimate the potential impact of those adjustments on quality measurement.
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