The Accuracy of Present-on-Admission Reporting in Administrative Data

Authors


Address correspondence to L. Elizabeth Goldman, M.D., M.C.R., Department of Medicine, University of California–San Francisco, 1001 Potrero Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110; e-mail: legoldman@medsfgh.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Objective

To test the accuracy of reporting present-on-admission (POA) and to assess whether POA reporting accuracy differs by hospital characteristics.

Data Sources

We performed an audit of POA reporting of secondary diagnoses in 1,059 medical records from 48 California hospitals.

Study Design

We used patient discharge data (PDD) to select records with secondary diagnoses that are powerful predictors of mortality and could potentially represent comorbidities or complications among patients who either had a primary procedure of a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or a primary diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, community-acquired pneumonia, or congestive heart failure. We modeled the relationship between secondary diagnoses POA reporting accuracy (over-reporting and under-reporting) and hospital characteristics.

Data Collection

We created a gold standard from blind reabstraction of the medical records and compared the accuracy of the PDD against the gold standard.

Principal Findings

The PDD and gold standard agreed on POA reporting in 74.3 percent of records, with 13.7 percent over-reporting and 11.9 percent under-reporting. For-profit hospitals tended to overcode secondary diagnoses as present on admission (odds ratios [OR] 1.96; 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.11, 3.44), whereas teaching hospitals tended to undercode secondary diagnoses as present on admission (OR 2.61; 95 percent CI 1.36, 5.03).

Conclusions

POA reporting of secondary diagnoses is moderately accurate but varies by hospitals. Steps should be taken to improve POA reporting accuracy before using POA in hospital assessments tied to payments.

Ancillary