The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comments on proposed enhancements to the Hospital Compare overall hospital quality star ratings methodology.

The enhancements reflect feedback from stakeholders through the Statistical Analysis Software Pack and analyses performed by Yale New Haven Health Services Corporation’s Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation. The proposed changes include:

  • using complete convergence to optimize the assignment of hospitals to star categories;
  • eliminating winsorization, or the removal of outliers, in hospital summary scores; and
  • reordering the steps to star rating assignment, so that only hospitals meeting public reporting thresholds are assigned star ratings.

Comments can be sent to cmsstarratings@yale.edu through Sept. 27. CMS could implement the proposed enhancements as soon as December; topics still being debated will be re-evaluated by the next Technical Expert Panel, scheduled for this fall.

America’s Essential Hospitals previously has expressed concern with the data behind the star ratings and their value to consumers.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.