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CMS Rolls Out Five Star Quality Rating System for Hospitals

CMS awarded its first star rating system to hospitals based on patients’ appraisals. This is the first time CMS has introduced star ratings for hospitals which is on hospital compare. Hospital Compare is a website that CMS created so that patients can review the results of certain quality measures of hospitals such as information related to heart attacks, pneumonia or heart failure. CMS created the five-star quality rating system to help patients and families identify the area they may want to ask questions about and to compare hospitals related to the quality of care they deliver. The Affordable Care Act called for more transparency and easier to understand public reporting. It will be updated quarterly.

HPR for Hospital Consult

Data came from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures. HCAHPS is a standardized survey tool that collects data based on the patient’s perspective on 11 measures. These have been included in the Hospital compare site. HCAHPS has been used since 2006 to measure quality of care from the patient’s perspective. It looks at topics like how well nurses and physicians communicate with patients, pain management, discharge information, how responsive hospital staff was to meeting the patient’s needs, how well patients were prepared for this discharged hospital setting and how clean and quiet the hospital environment was.

There were only 251 hospitals out of 3,553 hospitals in the US that received the highest score on the new five-star rating system, which is about 7%. Some of the leading hospitals in the country received middle scores. Some hospital officials were concerned that the five-star scale relied too much of the patient’s perspective of quality and that it doesn’t reflect actual quality of care. CMS has been using star ratings for nursing homes and dialysis facilities. This will mostly likely result in encouraging hospitals and practitioners to strive to improve patient experience and quality of care. There were 1,205 hospitals (34%) that received four stars, 1,414 hospitals (40%) that received three stars, 585 hospitals (16%) that received two stars, and 101 (3%) that received one star. There were 1,102 that were not rated because of lack of enough data during the survey period.

More information is here on the CMS site and on this CMS fact sheet.

Here is more information about the HCAHPS Survey.