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Star Ratings Delay Welcome News, Opportunity for Improvement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON, DC—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today made the right decision to delay the public release of Hospital Compare star ratings. We appreciate that the agency responded constructively to the concerns of our hospitals and other stakeholders.

Essential hospitals are committed to quality improvement and transparency, and support empowering patients and families with useful and relevant information. But questions remain about the data behind the star ratings and about the value of the ratings to consumers. The ratings exist partially in a black box, incorporate measures that miss clinically relevant data, and fail to adjust for patient circumstances that influence health and health care outcomes—circumstances outside a hospital’s control.

We are pleased CMS is committed to continuing to examine its methodology and better understand the unfair, adverse impacts it might have on particular types of hospitals. Further, the agency has expressed a willingness to work with hospitals and associations to provide additional guidance on and analysis of the star ratings. We look forward to that process and to working collaboratively to ensure the ratings give consumers accurate, complete, and relevant information and put all hospitals on a level playing field for evaluation.

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