Episode-of-Care Payment

2018 Measure Reporting Year

Measurement Period: April 2014 - June 2017

Payments are Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements that have been standardized to remove factors unrelated to clinical care, such as differences in geographic location and support for medical student education. Thus, payments are a dollar-value reflection of the care choices hospitals make for their patients. While not a measure of quality, variation in payments within and between the index and post-acute care settings may be influenced by a hospital's unique practice patterns. Understanding which care settings are accounting for the greatest proportions of payments and which are driving differences in payments can inform efforts to reduce spending and improve efficiencies in care.

To begin exploring the data: 

  1. Click the magnifying glass to view the breakdown of payments made for the index admission or post-acute care. 

  2. Check the boxes on the right side of the graph to view payments for each care setting. 

  3. Toggle the x-axis (horizontal axis) to view "Proportion of Payment" OR "Average Standardized Dollars per Patient". 


Index Admission Payments
Post-Acute Care Payments



{[{condition.label}]}: Index Admission Payments ({[{condition.index.percent}]}%)

Post-Acute Care Payment ({[{condition.acute.percent}]}%)
Number of Hospitals
Proportion of Payment Average Standardized Dollars per Patient

{[{condition.label}]}: Post-Acute Care Payment ({[{condition.acute.percent}]}%)

Index Admission Payments ({[{condition.index.percent}]}%)
Number of Hospitals
Proportion of Payment Average Standardized Dollars per Patient

Table View

Measure Type of Payment {[{condition.label}]}
  • Proportion of total payments
  • {[{condition.index.percent}]}%
empty Proportion of index admission payments (%) Average payment per patient ($)
  • {[{breakdown.label}]}
  • {[{breakdown.percent}]}%
  • {[{breakdown.payment}]}
  • Proportion of total payments
  • {[{condition.acute.percent}]}%
empty Proportion of post-acute care payments (%) Average payment per patient ($)
  • {[{breakdown.label}]}
  • {[{formatPercentage(breakdown)}]}
  • {[{formatPayment(breakdown)}]}

How do we determine episode of care payment?

Episode of Care

Standardizing Payment

To calculate standardized payments that reflect differences in care provided for patients, payments based on geography (i.e. cost of living and wage index) or policy adjustments (i.e indirect medical education and disproportionate share) are removed from the payment calculation.

Breakdown of the Types of Payment


For the publicly reported results by hospital, please visit HospitalCompare.


The measures included in this visualization have the following measurement period:

Table 1. Included Measures



Measurement Period


Acute Myocardial Infarction

7/2014 - 6/2017

Heart Failure

7/2014 - 6/2017


7/2014 - 6/2017

Total hip arthroplasty and/or total knee arthroplasty

4/2014 - 3/2017



Only hospitals with at least 25 qualifying hospitalizations for a given measure are included in the visualization.


Table 2. Key Definitions




A graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data. Please see “Figure Explanations” in Related Research for more information.

Episode of Care

Starting with the index admission, the 30-day (for AMI, heart failure and pneumonia patients) or 90-day (Hip/Knee arthroplasty) window in which the patient receives care across multiple care settings.

Index Admission Payments

All payments related to the initial admission for an episode of AMI, heart failure, pneumonia, or hip/knee replacement care and evaluated for the outcome.

Post-Acute Care Payments

All payments related to care received after being discharged from the index admission.

Non-Acute Inpatient Settings

All payments related to long-term care in inpatient settings, including inpatient psychiatric facilites, inpatient psychiatric physician visits, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, inpatient rehabilitation physician visits, and long-term care hospital (LTCH) facilities.

Standardized Dollars

Payments are standardized for each care setting using the CMS Standardization Methodology for Allowed Amount. Geographic differences and policy adjustments in payment rates for individual services are removed from the total payment for that service. Where geographic differences in payments cannot be removed, they are averaged across geographic areas.


The miscellaneous category includes ambulance, medical supplies, and other costs.

Stacked bar chart

A stacked bar chart shows a sum of values as a column or bar, including the individual subgroups within the sum. Subgroups of data within the bar allow for comparisons of the relative contribution of each subgroup to the bar and the overall chart. Please see “Figure Explanations” in Research Briefs for more information.


Methodology Sources

AMI, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, and Elective Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) and/or Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) Payment Measures Methodology: Jaymie Simoes, Jacqueline N. Grady, Danielle Purvis, et al. 2019 Measure Updates and Specifications Report Hospital-Level Risk-Standardized Payment Measures: Acute Myocardial Infarction – Version 7.0, Heart Failure – Version 5.0, Pneumonia – Version 5.0, Elective Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) and/or Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) – Version 4.0. https://qualitynet.org/inpatient/measures/payment/resources#tab2. Available as of April 4, 2018.

Related Research

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