OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether current Joint Commission (JC) exclusion criteria for measure PC-01, “Elective Delivery” before 39 weeks of gestation, accurately identify valid, codeable indications for planned early-term delivery.
METHODS: We performed a review and critical analysis of all cases recorded as noncompliant for the measure in a large health care system during the second half of 2012.
RESULTS: During the study period, of 107,145 total deliveries, 205 cases were reported as noncompliant with PC-01. Ten percent of compliance fallouts (ie, cases coded as noncompliant) resulted from valid indications for delivery identifiable by International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) coding not included on the JC exclusion list; these were primarily unusual or extreme variations of these conditions. Twenty-five percent of fallouts represented valid indications not represented by an ICD-9-CM code. Eight percent of cases were reported as fallouts as a result of imprecise physician charting; only 2% represented chart abstraction errors. Fifty-five percent of cases involved stated indications for early-term delivery not generally recognized as such by the medical community. Compliance rates of 98% are achievable across a large population using the current ICD-9-CM–based metric for compliance assessment used by the JC (PC-01). The current exclusion list does not appear to be amenable to further improvement by inclusion of more or different ICD-9-CM codes. However, given the low volumes generated using the current PC-01 denominator definition, approximately 60% of facilities would have compliance rates below a 95% benchmark with even a single justified outlier if analyzed on a quarterly basis.
CONCLUSION: Our data validate the current JC exclusion criteria for this measure, which identify the vast majority of valid indications for early-term delivery used by obstetrician–gynecologists and identifiable with ICD-9-CM codes.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III