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CMS Updates Overall Hospital Star Ratings, Proposes Future Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has publicly released updated overall hospital star ratings. The release comes after America’s Essential Hospitals and other hospital groups urged CMS to delay the February release due to ongoing concerns with the methodology.

In addition, CMS posted potential changes to the star ratings program for public comment. In a statement, America’s Essential Hospitals said it appreciated the proposed changes but called the decision to release ratings based on a flawed methodology “unfortunate.”

The agency seeks stakeholder feedback on ways to enhance the methodology, including potential hospital peer grouping to allow for calculations and presentation of ratings based on hospitals that “look like them.”

Other topics for public comment include:

  • changes to measure grouping based on clinical criteria;
  • updating ratings annually, as opposed to biannually;
  • incorporating hospital improvement compared with their own past performance; and
  • development of a user-customized rating tool.

Comments on the methodology under re-evaluation for the overall star ratings should be sent to cmsstarratings@yale.edu by March 29.

For questions about Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings, email the Hospital Compare Overall Ratings Team at cmsstarratings@lantanagroup.com.

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 senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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