Does quality pay? The link between SCIP performance and hospital profitability

June 25, 2019

Using nationwide financial data for all US hospitals in the AHA Annual Survey and Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) measure performance from the Hospital Compare site, Beauvais et. al. examined the association between quality metrics performance and hospital financial performance. The study, published in the Journal of Healthcare Management found that higher patient safety scores had a direct correlation with increased hospital profitability.

EHC NOTE: Since this study looked at data from years 2014 and 2015, some of the quality metrics tracked have changed in the ensuing years. Nonetheless, their conclusion – “that targeted improvement in patient safety performance, as evaluated in the Hospital Compare data, is associated with improved financial performance at the hospital level.  Increased attention to safe care delivery may allow hospitals to generate additional patient care earnings, improve margins and create capital to advance the hospital financial position” – certainly remains applicable. As a greater percentage of reimbursement is tied to quality and outcome metrics and as patients have increasing access to comparative data, we expect the correlation between demonstrable quality and financial performance to increase. As the typical engine of profitability in most facilities, these findings reinforce the need for all Operating Room stakeholders to closely monitor quality and seek continuous improvement.