3M™ Ambulatory Potentially Preventable Complications (AM-PPCs) Grouping Software

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Improve quality of outpatient care while controlling costs

3M AM-PPCs identify potentially preventable complications that occur following elective ambulatory procedure encounters using sophisticated grouping logic. Potentially preventable complications (PPCs) are identified and linked to an ambulatory procedure when a complication diagnosis code is found to be clinically related as well as meeting predefined timing guidelines. Complications may be identified within subsequent hospital admissions, emergency department visits and other ambulatory revisit encounters. The software allows you to look closely at the procedure encounters and the clinically related complications by specific procedure, condition, service line, provider and facility, providing insight into incentives and interventions that can help improve patient safety.

Get the latest information in these press releases:

New 3M AM-PPCs software supports growing need for patient safety and quality oversight in outpatient settings

U.S. News & World Report will evaluate 3M AM-PPCs grouping software for potential use in its Best Hospitals rankings

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    3M AM-PPCs: Guide patient safety initiatives and outcomes-based payment

    Using clinical insights, health care providers, payers, policy makers, quality improvement organizations and researchers can address the existing gap in accessing quality of outpatient care and can drive accurate, actionable efforts to improve patient outcomes related to outpatient procedures.

    Download the fact sheet (PDF, 91 KB)

Why choose 3M AM-PPCs?

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    Addresses a pressing need in our health care system

    3M AM-PPCs were developed to address the existing gap in assessing the quality of outpatient care, specifically for procedures being performed in outpatient care settings. 3M AM-PPCs include more than 2,900 procedures clinically categorized to 93 unique procedure subgroups (PSGs) which can be utilized to evaluate the performance of 16 hospital service lines.

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    Careful, clinically defined concept of potentially preventable

    As with 3M’s inpatient PPC logic, the 3M AM-PPC logic defines a wide range of potentially preventable complications but with a refined approach to include complications such as infections (e.g., pneumonia, urinary tract infection) or major complications (e.g., sepsis, significant bleeding) that can occur following specific procedures and within designated timing guidelines. Settings that complications are identified in, include subsequent hospital admissions, emergency department visits and other ambulatory revisit encounters, all of which are used to differentiate complications by care setting within performance evaluation.

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    A clinical, categorical measurement that generates actionable information

    Generates detailed chained data about the incidence of procedures performed in ambulatory care settings and those that result in complications. Clinicians, payers, hospital managers or researchers can use this information to improve the quality of care at both the time of the initial procedure and in the post-procedural management of patients.

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    Suitable for all populations

    Developed for use in all populations, 3M AM-PPCs include common adult and pediatric procedures and uses age in the standard risk adjustment process.

All about 3M AM-PPCs

The 3M AM-PPC methodology generates actionable insights and enables hospitals and payers to improve ambulatory outcomes and reduce costs.

  • Definition
    A complication of care (e.g., pneumonia, sepsis) following an ambulatory procedure that may result from processes of care and treatment rather than from natural progression of an underlying illness and are therefore potentially preventable.
  • 3M AM-PPCs are built for health systems, ambulatory surgical centers, payers, quality agencies, government agencies and researchers. A hospital can use the 3M AM-PPC methodology on its own for the outpatient department; for example, the hospital can calculate its own 3M AM-PPC rates in a base year and then work to improve future performance. Hospitals, payers, quality agencies, government agencies and researchers typically undertake analyses of multi-hospital data sets to compare performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Here are a few examples of the value the 3M AM-PPC methodology can bring to customers:

    • Improve quality. 3M AM-PPCs are designed to provide comparative ambulatory procedure complication rates across ambulatory care settings. Higher than expected complication rates may indicate opportunities to improve the quality of care at both the time of the initial procedure and in the post-procedural management of patients.
    • Enable insight. In an analysis of Medicare data, two percent of procedures performed in ambulatory care settings experienced at least one potentially preventable complication*; however, rates varied by the type of procedure. For example, upper genitourinary procedure complication rates are as high as 13 percent, and this varies to less than one percent for more routine procedures like colonoscopies*.
    • Public reporting. State departments, hospitals and quality agencies can post health reports or ratings on public websites.
    • Paying for outcomes. Payers can implement 3M AM-PPC measures to provide incentives for reductions in potentially preventable complications.
    • Informing collaboration. 3M AM-PPCs can be used to aid community collaboratives to make it easier for hospitals and community organizations to develop and lead interventions that promote health care quality.

    *Analysis conducted by 3M using National Medicare Data from 2019-2020 and State Medicaid Data Statistics from 2018-2021

    • 3M AM-PPCs logic is the same for every user, although different users may choose not to report certain 3M AM-PPCs. Each user makes its own decisions about appropriate use, including risk adjustment and comparison of individual hospital performance with an appropriate benchmark.
    • 3M AM-PPCs are integrated with other 3M patient classification methodologies. 3M AM-PPCs can be identified from certain inpatient claims using the 3M™ All Patient Refined DRG (APR DRG) software. 3M APR DRGs are used in identifying complications of care for inpatient claims that contain an ambulatory procedure performed prior to admission. This is relevant for inpatient claims subject to the three-day payment rule or 72-hour payment rule.
  • 3M AM-PPCs are available in the following 3M products: 

    Available to software licensees on the 3M customer support website

    • 3M AM-PPCs Definitions Manual
    • 3M AM-PPCs Summary of Clinical Logic Updates
    • 3M AM-PPCs Norm Files (Microsoft Excel File)
  • 3M experts are available to advise hospitals, health plans, government agencies and other interested parties on how to obtain maximum value from the use of 3M AM-PPCs. For example, 3M consultants can help hospitals measure the incidence of potentially preventable complications, compare against benchmarks, and help design programs for improvement. 3M consultants can also help payers and other organizations measure AM-PPCs across hospitals, design pay for outcomes incentive methods, and facilitate learning collaboratives to reduce 3M AM-PPCs and improve care.
    • The unit of analysis is an ambulatory encounter in which an elective procedure is performed and may be followed by a complication of care within subsequent hospital admissions, emergency department visits or other ambulatory encounters. All the data required to do a 3M AM-PPC analysis can be obtained from a standard outpatient, professional or inpatient hospital/provider claim, such as the UB-04 form or the X12N, 837I, 837P electronic transaction.
    • Individual records must be linked using consistent identifiers for both the patient and the hospital/provider. Data fields that are particularly important include claim bill type or place or service, all diagnosis codes, present on admission (POA) indicators for inpatient claims, ICD-10-PCS procedure codes, procedure code dates, line-item HCPCS/CPT® procedure codes with service dates, line-item revenue codes to identify ED visits (045x). Because it is important whether a diagnosis was present on admission for inpatient admissions, 3M recommends that any 3M AM-PPC analysis include an evaluation of the likely accuracy of POA indicators. Suggested criteria are available on the 3M customer support website.
    • Despite advancements in modern hospital care, quality problems remain, impacting patient outcomes and provider costs. In the early 2000s, 3M assembled a team to develop a methodology that could identify situations in which inpatient hospital care was less than excellent. The resulting methodology, inpatient 3M™ Potentially Preventable Complications Grouping Software (PPCs), was first published in the Health Care Financing Review in 2006. Since then, the methodology has been regularly updated and increasingly adopted across the U.S. The implementation and success of inpatient PPCs have allowed for 3M to shift its focus to assess the quality of outpatient care. In 2015, 3M researchers reassembled a team to develop 3M AM-PPCs, a methodology that could evaluate ambulatory procedures that resulted in complications of care within a longitudinal analysis using a designated timing window (e.g., 30 days).
    • The 3M AM-PPCs applies sophisticated clinical logic to identify more than 2,900 procedures and clinically categorize them within 93 distinct procedure subgroups (PSGs). PSGs are comprised of common elective procedures often performed in outpatient care settings. There are 35 potentially preventable complication groups, which include more than 1,200 complications such as: sepsis, pneumonia and lung infections, pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis, hemorrhage and hematoma and device related infections or mechanical complications.
    • Potentially preventable complications are identified by the 3M AM-PPC software by linking an ambulatory procedure to a subsequent admission, emergency department visit, or other ambulatory encounter reporting a complication diagnosis code, in timeline sequence and matching a predefined procedure-specific complication list and timing guidelines. Complications that are not related to the initial procedure or that present prior to the date in which they are expected to occur are excluded by the 3M AM-PPC logic.

    The 3M AM-PPCs are identified through diagnosis and procedure codes listed on standard claim forms. The 3M proprietary clinical logic is maintained by a team of 3M clinicians, data analysts, nosologists, programmers and economists and can be viewed by software licensees in an online definition’s manual. 3M plans to release a new 3M AM-PPCs version every Oct. 1, to reflect updates in the ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure code sets and to include enhancements in the clinical classification logic.

Learn more about 3M AM-PCCs

  • This manual describes the clinician-specified 3M™ Ambulatory Potentially Preventable Complications (AM-PPC) classification system, a clinically based classification system that uses sequenced billing or coded clinical to identify complications of care following routing ambulatory procedures.

  • Hear from 3M Health Information Systems Global Chief Medical Officer Sandeep Wadhwa, MD, MBA, who discusses his thoughts on increasing ambulatory patient safety protocols in our Inside Angle blog: Three questions with Sandeep Wadhwa, MD, MBA: Making ambulatory patient safer.

  • In this episode Scott Becker speaks with Sandeep Wadhwa, the Global Chief Medical Officer at 3M Health Information Systems on patient care. They specifically focus on preventing complications after outpatient procedures and focusing patient safety around ambulatory surgery centers.

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Let’s work together to optimize your organization. Send us a message or speak to a 3M representative at 1-800-367-2447 (available weekdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT).

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