An article in the April 20. 2016 issue of Modern Healthcare reports that CMS will delay release of the their hospital quality star ratings. Excerpts of the article go through the rationale and role out.
The federal government has been promoting the ratings for hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis facilities and other providers as a way for consumers to compare and select providers. The set that was delayed this week gives hospitals one to five stars based on specific inpatient and outpatient reporting measures.
Hospitals reviewed the ratings earlier this year. Only 87 of more than 3,600 U.S. hospitals got the highest five-star rating, according to the American Hospital Association. Just over half of the hospitals fell within the three-star range. A total of 142 got one star. In January, the AHA challenged the CMS, stating that the program “oversimplifies the complexity of delivering high-quality care.”
That message was heard by 60 U.S. senators who sent a sent a letter to the CMS earlier this month urging the delay of the program. They warned of confusing methods, compromised outcomes for hospitals in disadvantaged communities and the potential to mislead consumers. The AHA and others say the have not been able to come up with the same conclusions as the CMS, using the same data sets and methods. “It is clear that additional time is necessary,” the letter said.
“No approach to identifying outstanding medical centers is ideal – not ours or the government’s or anyone else’s,” the column said. Case in point: none of the CMS’ five-star facilities made it onto U.S. News’ annual Honor Roll, the post said.
The patient satisfaction star ratings posted on the CMS’ Hospital Compare website a year ago were based on an average of hospitals’ performance on 11 publicly-reported measures from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The HCAHPS survey includes patient evaluations of the hospital staff responsiveness, care transitions, communication, and cleanliness and comfort of the facility.
A JAMA report, conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, found that the higher the patient satisfaction score, the lower the incidence of patient deaths or readmission for additional care.