United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Hospital Compare

Explanation of Footnotes for Outcome Measures

Footnote Why is This Information Important? 
1 The number of cases is too small ( <25) to reliably tell how well a hospital is performing.
For each measure, the rate is the percent of patients for whom the treatment is appropriate. Where these numbers are small (fewer than 25 patients), the calculated rate may not accurately predict the hospital’s future performance. As the quality data base is expanded to a full rolling four quarters of data for each measure, the number of cases used to determine hospitals’ rates will likely increase, thereby increasing the reliability and stability of the rates. Note: This footnote does not necessarily reflect hospital size or overall patient volume.
 
2 The hospital indicated that the data submitted for this measure were based on a sample of cases. 
A rate may be based upon the total number of cases treated by a hospital with a large caseload, a rate may be based on a random sample of the cases the hospital treated. This footnote indicates that a hospital chose to submit data for a sample of its total cases (following specific rules for how to the select the cases).
 
3 Data was collected during a shorter time period (fewer quarters) than the maximum possible time for this measure (One quarter equals three months.)
Each rate reflects the care given over a specific time period, up to a maximum of four quarters during a 12 month period. The number of quarters of data available is determined by when hospitals first began to report data using a specific measure. For example, for the ten measures in the “Starter Set”, the maximum number of quarters for which a hospital could have provided data is four quarters. For measures added more recently, the maximum will be fewer than four quarters. This footnote indicates that the hospital's rate was based on data from fewer than the maximum possible number of quarters that the measure was generally collected.
4 Inaccurate information submitted and suppressed for one or more quarters.
Hospitals are required to submit accurate, reportable data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The rates for these measures were calculated by excluding data that had been suppressed for one or more quarters because they were identified as inaccurate.
 
5 No data is available from the hospital for this measure.
Hospitals volunteer to provide data for reporting on Hospital Compare. This footnote is applied when the hospital did not submit any cases for a measure.