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CMS releases new hospital star ratings

Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the much-anticipated Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings on Wednesday after industry stakeholders and Congress pressured the agency to continue to delay their release (Source: “CMS releases star ratings for hospitals,” Modern Healthcare, July 27, 2016).

The ratings are a composite metric of one to five stars, with five being the best. They intend to convey the overall quality of nearly 4,000 hospitals in the U.S. and are posted to the CMS' Hospital Compare site. In grading hospitals on their overall quality, the CMS used 64 measures, such hospital-acquired infection rates or emergency room wait times, that had already been posted to the Hospital Compare site. It grouped those measures into broader categories, then weighted them. Hospitals had to meet minimum reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive a star rating.

Hospitals and other industry groups have stridently criticized the rating system as oversimplifying a complex matter—the quality of a multi-faceted institution—and the underlying methodology as flawed. They warned it would provide inaccurate information to consumers and damage hospitals' reputations.

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