CMS Updates Hospital Compare Star Ratings
Patients and their families look for ways to better understand healthcare choices to help them receive the best treatment possible. With this in mind, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published Hospital Compare information to help patients, “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 health care provider,” according to The CMS Blog on July 27.
CMS’ Hospital Compare is part of the government’s Open Data Initiative, which “aims to make government data freely available and useful while ensuring privacy, confidentiality, and security.”
Hospital Compare presents the information with a star rating system. The release of the facility ratings improves transparency and accessibility of hospital quality data. CMS’ Director of Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS, wrote in the July 27 blog:
The new Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating methodology takes 64 existing quality measures already reported on the Hospital Compare website and summarizes them into a unified rating of one to five stars. The rating includes quality measures for routine care that the average individual receives, such as care received when being treated for heart attacks and pneumonia, to quality measures that focus on hospital-acquired infections, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Specialized and cutting edge care that certain hospitals provide such as specialized cancer care, are not reflected in these quality ratings.
Hospital Compare research has shown that the more stars a hospital has on the website, the lower their death and readmission rates are.
The star rating is updated quarterly, incorporates new measures when they are made public, and removes retired measures. For more information, see the “First Release of the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating on Hospital Compare” Fact Sheet.
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