What's your score? Hospital star ratings now online

Accreditation Insider, August 2, 2016

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On July 27, CMS publicly released its hospital star ratings system on its Hospital Compare website despite many appeals, requests, and proposed legislation asking for a delay. A hospital’s star rating is based on 64 quality measures and is meant to provide patients with more transparency on hospital quality.  

"When individuals and their families need to make important decisions about healthcare, they seek a reliable way to understand the best choice for themselves or their loved ones," said CMS Clinical Standards and Quality Director Kate Goodrich, MD, in a statement. "Today, we are updating the star ratings on the Hospital Compare website to help millions of patients and their families learn about the quality of hospitals, compare facilities in their area side-by-side, and ask important questions about care quality when visiting a hospital or other healthcare provider."

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)
•    20.4% didn’t meet the minimum reporting thresholds and are unrated

The release came exactly one day after Congress proposed a bill that would have delayed the star ratings system for a full year, required CMS to release all their data on the star ratings methodology, and have it verified by a third-party. The bill was supported by 60 senators and more than 225 House Representatives and several different hospital groups who felt there were several major problems with the star rating methodology.

"The star ratings exist partially in a black box, incorporate measures that miss clinically relevant data, and fail to adjust for patient circumstances that influence health and health care outcomes—circumstances outside a hospital's control," said Bruce Siegel, MD, CEO of America's Essential Hospitals, in a statement. "Consumers deserve accurate, comprehensive, and relevant information to make health care decisions. Hospitals deserve to be evaluated on a level playing field. The star ratings accomplish neither."

Click here to read the full HealthLeaders Media article.


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