Mortality Measures Overview

Publicly reporting risk-standardized, 30-day mortality measures for AMI, COPD, HF, PN, and Stroke

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) 30-day mortality measures assess a broad set of healthcare activities that affect patients' well-being. Patients who receive high-quality care during their hospitalizations and their transition to the outpatient setting will likely have better outcomes, such as survival, functional ability, and quality of life.

The public reporting of 30-day risk-standardized mortality measures is consistent with the priorities of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Quality Strategy, which aims to: a) improve health care quality, b) improve the health of the U.S. population, and c) reduce the costs of health care.

Public reporting of the CMS 30-day mortality measures fulfills federal mandates in the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make outcome and efficiency measures publicly available under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program. In 2008, CMS began to publicly report on the Hospital Compare website the performance of U.S. hospitals on the 30-day risk-standardized mortality measures for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia (PN) patients. For information on the mortality measures, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), refer to the Resources page.

CMS introduced the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and stroke mortality measures to hospitals and stakeholders in a national dry run in August 2013, and plans to publicly report these measures in 2014. For information on the mortality measures, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), refer to the Measure Methodology and Resources pages.

Please note that hospitals will receive their 2013 Hospital-Specific Reports (HSRs) beginning April 18, 2013.


The risk-standardized mortality measures were developed by a team of clinical and statistical experts from Yale and Harvard universities, using a methodology that has been published in the peer-reviewed literature. The measures comply with standards for publicly reported outcomes models set forth by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. The measures are updated annually using Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims to ensure the models are performing well, given trends in the underlying data. The CMS mortality measures adjust for each hospital's case mix (patient age and comorbidities), so that hospitals that care for older, sicker patients are on a "level playing field" with hospitals serving healthier patients.

Questions and Comments

CMS has contracted with Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation/Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (YNHHSC/CORE) to support the implementation of these measures. Send questions about the mortality measures to Yale at: To ensure proper handling of inquiries, please specify the measure(s) and program(s) to which your questions are related. Do NOT submit patient-identifiable information (e.g., Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Health Insurance Claim Number) to this address.

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