UHC Expands and Refines Risk-Adjusted Models for Pediatrics and Oncology

Updated Models Take Children's Care into Account, Help Simplify Cancer Patient Diagnosis and Treatment Methods

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- UHC today announced that it has expanded and refined the risk-adjusted models in its Clinical Data Base/Resource Managerâ„¢ (CDB/RM) to include 20 pediatric-specific risk models as well as enhanced variables for models in which the primary diagnosis is not cancer but the majority of patients have a secondary oncology diagnosis.

UHC data from more than 400,000 pediatric patient discharges are now modeled separately from the adult discharges. With the new models, users can stratify studies by different age groups and benchmark against peers on the variables most relevant to pediatric populations, giving a potentially more accurate picture of what hospital treatments are most effective for children.

"It makes better sense to separate children's cases from adult cases," said David Levine, MD, UHC associate vice president of informatics and medical director. "With the updated models, we can offer more actionable tools for hospitals to potentially provide more effective treatments."

On the cancer side, the enhanced oncology variables provide better insight into how specific types of cancer affect other disease conditions. For example, the new model looks at how a lung cancer patient with another affliction such as pneumonia has different risk-factors than a lung cancer patient without pneumonia. It helps bring clarity to more complicated cancer cases.

Previously, the risk models reflected the overall effect of solid tumor cancers, which include many different types ranging from lung cancer to bladder cancer. Now members can see the specific impact of cancers such as lung cancer or liver cancer on mortality, length of stay, and costs. The three general cancer variables have been expanded to more than 25 specific variable candidates.

"These new models offer much richer comparative analyses in key areas of care important to our members," said Levine. "By examining the risk factors associated with pediatrics and oncology at a deeper level, members can uncover new opportunities to improve clinical and operational performance."

Both the pediatric and the oncology risk models were developed with input from UHC's Risk Adjustment Task Force. Member input from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and City of Hope also contributed to the oncology model, which is especially useful for UHC members with stand-alone cancer centers and comprehensive cancer centers.

The risk model changes will be applied to all cases starting with patients discharged from quarter 4 2008 forward. UHC will continue to support the old risk models through quarter 3 2012 to give members enough time to finish their population trending studies. UHC will no longer provide expected values for the old models after quarter 3 2012 discharges are loaded.

The risk models are free to CDB/RM subscribers under Measure Performance at uhc.edu.

About UHC

UHC is an alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers, which are focused on delivering world-class patient care. Based in Chicago, Ill, UHC fosters collaboration with and among its 116 academic medical center and 258 affiliated hospital members through its renowned programs and services in the areas of comparative data and analytics, performance improvement, supply chain management, strategic research, and public policy. UHC helps its members achieve excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Formed in 1984, UHC's membership includes more than 90% of the nonprofit academic medical centers in the United States. For more information, visit uhc.edu.