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Quality Data, Hospital Star Ratings Refreshed

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has refreshed quality data on the Hospital Compare website, including overall hospital quality star ratings.

The agency plans to update the star ratings methodology through rulemaking in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule, which will be issued this spring. However, this month’s data refresh is based on the existing methodology used during the last update of star ratings in February 2019.

In a statement, America’s Essential Hospitals said it is disappointed that CMS continues to publicly post ratings using a flawed methodology that does not account for differences among hospitals.

CMS also updated data for these quality reporting programs:

  • Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program;
  • Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program;
  • Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program;
  • Prospective Payment System-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting Program;
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program; and
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program.

Notably, beginning in January, CMS no longer will report on Hospital Compare measures finalized for removal in FY 2019 IPPS and FY 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rules, including:

  • two general information measures;
  • three timely and effective care measures;
  • six psychiatric unit services measures;
  • six clinical episode–based payment measures; and
  • a volume data measure on selected outpatient surgical procedures.

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

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About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a principal policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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