CMS: Only 2% of hospitals earn a "five star" rating

Accreditation Insider, July 26, 2016

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Last week, CMS released data on its new hospital star ratings system, previewing the scores of 4,599 hospitals. The agency says it will be posting those ratings on its Hospital Compare site “shortly.” Out of 4,599 hospitals previewed:

•    2.2% will receive 5 stars (best score)
•    20.3% will receive 4 stars
•    38.5% will receive 3 stars
•    15.7% will receive 2 stars
•    2.9% will receive 1 star (worst score)

The remaining 20.4% didn’t meet the minimum reporting thresholds set forth in the Star Ratings Methodology Report and are unrated.

The report noted that hospital size didn’t have much of an effect on rating. Hospitals with one to 99 beds, hospitals with 100 to 199 beds, and hospitals with 200 or more beds largely fell in the three-star range at 35.1%, 45.7%, and 39.9% respectively.  Of the 102 five-star hospitals, 51 had between one to 99 beds,19 had 100 to 199 beds, and 27 had 200 plus beds. CMS did note however that of the 133 hospitals that received only one star, 80 of them were teaching hospitals.

Hospital’s star ratings are determined by 62 quality measurements and are meant to be a simple, comprehensive look at hospital quality to help consumers make their medical choices.The ratings have come under fire by several hospital organizations who say that the ratings don’t show true quality and that the methodology CMS uses is flawed.

“[The CMS] data continues to raise questions and concerns, as it may unfairly penalize teaching hospitals and those serving the poor. We urge CMS to work with the hospital field to ensure its methodology is fair and reliable, so that patients will have access to useful information," said Ashley Thompson, the American Hospital Association's senior vice president to CNBC News.

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