Here’s another way to look at potentially avoidable complications

Potentially Avoidable Complication events can also be used to produce a quality performance measure for each hospital. The Potentially Avoidable Complication Rate is the share of a hospital’s patient episodes that included one or more complications. A low (below average) PAC rate means most patients did not experience a complication and is an indicator of high quality care. A high (above average) PAC rate means larger numbers of patients experienced at least one complication and indicates low quality care.

Higher cost physicians, hospitals, and health systems don’t necessarily provide higher quality care, and lower cost physicians, hospitals, and health systems don’t necessarily provide lower quality care. There appears to be no correlation between cost and the quality of care.

While PAC rates (observed & expected) and performance scores are interpretable for providers, patients need to be able to easily distinguish between high and low quality providers. Below table shows the performance categorization.

 

PAC Performance Categorization Categorization Calculation
Worse, more complications >1 standard deviation below mean (low PAC rate)
Average +/- 1 std dev of mean
Better, fewer complications >1 std dev above mean (high PAC rate)