CMS To Add New Five-Star Rating System to Hospital Compare Site

April 6, 2015 in News

This month, CMS is expected to launch a new five-star quality rating system on its Hospital Compare website, Modern Healthcare reports (Rice, Modern Healthcare, 4/3).

Background on Hospital Compare

In 2005, CMS began posting quality ratings for more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals on its Hospital Compare website.

The site first included data on adherence to basic clinical care guidelines and later expanded to include additional information, such as patient experience scores, readmission rates, mortality rates and complication rates (iHealthBeat, 12/18/13).

In 2008, CMS began using star ratings for nursing homes. In the past year, it has implemented similar programs for home health providers, dialysis facilities and large group practices. However, the rollouts were met with controversy over the methodology and debate over whether the ratings added or eliminated confusion for patients, according to Modern Healthcare.

New Quality Rating Details

The new hospital rating system will offer a star rating based on the 11 publicly reported measures in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, which assesses patient experiences.

According to Modern Healthcare, the move is part of a broader effort to offer star ratings on the federal government’s consumer-facing Compare websites.

AHA Reaction

The American Hospital Association has supported efforts to improve transparency, but has raised concerns about the star ratings.

Akin Demehin, AHA’s senior associate director of policy, said, “A single star rating has the potential to oversimplify the information about quality that might be most relevant to patients.”

Demehin noted that CMS also is developing a rating system that uses other measures from Hospital Compare, including complication rates, readmission rates and spending per beneficiary. He said, “Frankly, if they arrive at a methodology that is a significant departure from what will be publicly displayed this month, it can actually lead to a great deal of confusion among providers and patients” (Modern Healthcare, 4/3

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