Volume 56 | Number 1 | February 2021

Abstract List

Michelle S. Keller PhD, MPH, Xiao Chen Ph.D., Jamie Godwin BA, Jack Needleman, Nadereh Pourat


The California Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP) provided incentive payments to Designated Public Hospitals (DPHs) to improve quality of care. We assessed the program's impact on reductions in sepsis mortality, central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), venous thromboembolisms (VTEs), and hospital‐acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs).

Data Sources

We used 2009‐2014 discharge data from California hospitals.

Study Design

We used a pre‐post study design with a comparison group. We constructed propensity scores and used them to assign inverse probability weights according to their similarity to DPH discharges. Interaction term coefficients of time trends and treatment group provided significance testing.

Data Extraction

We used Patient Safety Indicators for CLABSI, HAPU, and VTE, and constructed a sepsis mortality measure.

Principal Findings

Discharges from DPHs and non‐DPHs both saw decreases in the four outcomes over the DSRIP period (2010‐2014). The difference‐in‐difference estimator (DD) for sepsis was only significant during two time periods, comparing 2010 with 2012 (DD: −2.90 percent, 95% CI: −5.08, −0.72 percent) and 2010 with 2014 (DD: −5.74, 95% CI: −8.76 percent, −2.72 percent); the DD estimator was not significant comparing 2010 with 2012 (DD: −1.30, 95% CI: −3.18 percent, 0.58 percent) or comparing 2010 with 2013 (DD: −3.05 percent, 95% CI: −6.50 percent, 0.40 percent). For CLABSI, we did not find any meaningful differences between DPHs and non‐DPHs across the four time periods. For HAPU and VTE, the only significant DD estimator compared 2014 with 2010.


We did not find that DPHs participating in DSRIP outperformed non‐DPHs during the DSRIP program. Our results were robust to multiple sensitivity analyses. Given multiple concurrent inpatient safety initiatives, it was challenging to assign improvements over time periods to DSRIP.