Not only does case mix index play a central role in hospital finances, it is also an important indicator of hospital performance and clinical documentation.
Two hospitals with comparable patient populations and surgical capacity could, for instance, report two different case mix index values. Though the patients that they care for and the services that they provide are largely the same, a lower case mix index could indicate that one hospital is documenting its cases less effectively.
It’s important to remember, however, that this metric can be impacted by many different factors, including:
- Coding accuracy
- Documentation specificity
- High volumes of highly weighted DRGs (like organ transplantations, cardiothoracic surgeries, or neurosurgeries)
- Annual updates to relative MS-DRG weights