CMS to conduct "dry run" for reporting AHRQ indicators

February 18, 2009

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will conduct a “dry run” of reporting data for nine recently adopted Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators and Inpatient Quality Indicators. Later this month, each hospital participating in the Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update initiative will receive a hospital-specific report containing data regarding its performance on the nine AHRQ measures, as well as national, state and regional comparative information—all based on 2006 Medicare claims. The report will be available on My QualityNet.


The AHRQ measures were developed by a team of clinical and statistical experts from around the country. The measures have also been endorsed by the NQF, a voluntary standard-setting, consensus-building organization representing providers, consumers, purchasers, and researchers.

Patient Safety Indicators

Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) reflect quality of care for adults inside hospitals, but focus on potentially avoidable complications and iatrogenic events. The five PSI measures are:

  • PSI 4 – Death among surgical patients with treatable serious complications
  • PSI 6 – Iatrogenic pneumothorax, adult
  • PSI 14 – Postoperative wound dehiscence
  • PSI 15 –Accidental puncture or laceration
  • Complication/patient safety for selected indicators (composite)

Inpatient Quality Indicators

Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs) reflect quality of care for adults inside hospitals and include: inpatient mortality for medical conditions; inpatient mortality for surgical procedures; utilization of procedures for which there are questions of overuse, underuse, or misuse; and volume of procedures for which there is evidence that a higher volume of procedures may be associated with lower mortality. The four IQI measures are:

  • IQI 11 – Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) mortality rate
  • IQI 19 – Hip fracture mortality rate
  • Mortality for selected medical conditions (composite)
  • Mortality for selected surgical procedures (composite)

More information about the Patient Safety Indicators and Inpatient Quality Indicators is available at

"Dry run" process, comment period

CMS is conducting the "dry run" to familiarize hospitals with the AHRQ measures and their facility's performance on these measures prior to implementation of public reporting on the Hospital Compare website. The hospital-specific information and the summary information contained in the dry run reports are for educational purposes only; the information will not be used in any payment determinations, nor will it be publicly reported.

After receiving their respective reports, hospitals will have 30 days to send comments and questions regarding the hospital-specific reports to:

Other questions

Questions about the AHRQ patient safety and inpatient hospital claims-based quality indicator specifications and development may be sent to:

QualityNet requires Internet Explorer with JavaScript enabled on it.

Steps to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer
  1. Click on the Tools menu option at the top of the page.
  2. Select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. From the dialog box, choose the Security tab.
  4. Click on Custom Level.
  5. Set Active Scripting to Enable.
  6. Click OK to close the custom settings dialog.
  7. Click OK to close the Options dialog.