Significant variation in coding intensity among hospitals has been observed and can lead to reimbursement inequities and inadequate risk adjustment for quality measures. Reliable tools to quantify hospital coding intensity are needed. We hypothesized that coded sepsis rates among patients hospitalized with common infections may serve as a useful surrogate for coding intensity and derived a hospital-level sepsis coding intensity measure using prevalence of “sepsis” primary diagnoses among patients hospitalized with urinary tract infection, cellulitis, and pneumonia. This novel measure was well correlated with the hospital mean number of discharge diagnoses, which has historically been used to quantify hospital-level coding intensity. However, it has the advantage of inferring hospital coding intensity without the strong association with comorbidity that the mean number of discharge diagnoses has. Our measure may serve as a useful tool to compare coding intensity across institutions. Read the full article here