Thursday, July 28, 2016

Feds release quality ratings of 4,599 hospitals; industry says it's an oversimplification

Screenshot of website with hospital information
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday released its list of Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings of nearly 4,000 hospitals in the U.S., Elizabeth Whitman reports for Modern Healthcare. "Just 102 institutions out of 4,599 hospitals, or 2.2 percent, earned five stars. Of the rest of the hospitals, 20.3 percent, garnered four stars, 38.5 percent, received three, 15.7 percent, earned two stars and 2.9 percent, received a single star. A significant proportion—20.4 percent, of hospitals—were deemed ineligible for ratings, because they lacked data to report measure results."

"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," Whitman writes. "They warned it would provide inaccurate information to consumers and damage hospitals' reputations." Richard Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement: "As written, they fall short of meeting principles that the AHA has embraced for quality report cards and rating systems. We are especially troubled that the current ratings scheme unfairly penalizes teaching hospitals and those serving higher numbers of the poor."

Ratings consist of 64 quality measures in seven categories: Mortality; Safety of Care; Readmission; Patient Experience; Effectiveness of Care; Timeliness of Care; and Efficient Use of Medical Imaging. To find the rating of a hospital click here.

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