No results usually means there were too few patients in the WA-APCD dataset, for a particular healthcare organization or in a geographic area, to report a quality or cost result. Typical reasons for missing data are:
- The healthcare organization does not provide the service
- There were too few patients in the WA-APCD data as we do not have information on all patients
- Certain patients who got the service were excluded to avoid distorting the results when the patient’s condition or circumstances are unusual.
To report cost or quality, it is important to include enough patients in the measure so the results are accurate and reliable – that is, there would be no real change in the results if more patients got that service and we recalculated the measure. Also, to protect patient privacy we are careful to include enough patients so no individual patient could be identified. For medical service prices, hospitals and outpatient centers are included only if at least 11 patients got the service during a specific time period. For quality of care measures, the WA-APCD evaluates each measure to identify the number of patients required to properly report that measure.