IMO If an album has a higher bitrate and sample rate then generally this is a remaster and therefore will have a different release date and catalogue number so should be separate. I’m taking genuine official releases here from the likes of HD Tracks, Nimbus records, Linn, Chesky records, Stockfisch records etc.
You say there are only quality differences, like when you compare LPs and CDs and obviously there is between lossy and lossless but that’s not quite correct. The whole point of higher bitrate and sample rate is about quality and you can just as easily have both a CD and LP at 24/96 or higher.
If it’s a RIP then yeh that is minefield and there is no easy way of verifying. That would take some deep analysis of the spectrogram and waveform and making comparisons to the same recording at a lower level. But many record companies or should I say recording studios are getting hold of master tapes and remastering older material and releasing as Hi Res either as SACD, LP or Digital download. This is a separate market and should be treated as such and not be thrown in with a standard Redbook releases from years ago.
TBH I would go as far to say this is the future and direction that everything is going. 16/44 CD’s are the past. It’s not about ripping CD’s any more and it’s more about companies professionally remastering at a better quality than CD. To throw another spanner in the works there’s going to be MQA releases to deal with too. I don’t know if these are being added to the database.