Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD; Susan Burnside, MPH; Laurie Sickles, RN; Mark A. Moskowitz, MD; Eric Sawitz, MD; Paul A. Levine, MD
Study Objective: To evaluate the appropriateness of diagnostic coding of acute myocardial infarction across teaching and nonteaching hospitals.
Design: Retrospective review of a random sample of medical records to find evidence of the occurrence and active treatment of acute myocardial infarction during the admission. Setting: Five tertiary teaching, five other teaching, and five nonteaching hospitals in metropolitan Boston.
Cases: Random sample of hospital admissions assigned a discharge diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction between October 1984 and September 1985.
Measurement and Main Results: Of the 1003 cases reviewed, 260 did not meet the clinical criteria for acute myocardial infarction. At tertiary hospitals, 175 (41.7%) failed to qualify, compared with 25 (9.1%) at nonteaching facilities. In a large fraction of the disqualified cases, the patients had been admitted to exclude the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction; although explicitly "ruled out," an acute myocardial infarction code was assigned. Sixty-six cases from teaching hospitals did not qualify because the patient had been admitted only for coronary angiography after an uneventful postmyocardial infarction course. Almost one-third of these patients had had their infarcts from 5 to 8 weeks before the angiography admission.
Conclusions: Cases with an inappropriate discharge diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction may be concentrated in teaching hospitals. This finding could have implications for Medicare's diagnosis-related group payment system and governmental and other research efforts that use these data for such purposes as drawing inferences about the quality of hospital care.
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Iezzoni LI, Burnside S, Sickles L, Moskowitz MA, Sawitz E, Levine PA. Coding of Acute Myocardial Infarction: Clinical and Policy Implications. Ann Intern Med. 1988;109:745–751. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-9-745
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(9):745-751.
Acute Coronary Syndromes, Cardiology, Coronary Heart Disease, Emergency Medicine.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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