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CMS Updates Hospital Star Rating Formula on Hospital Compare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its updated Hospital Compare star rating system. The agency had postponed the release of the ratings for more than five months to address the concerns of some stakeholder hospitals that the previous star formulas were flawed.

CMS maintains the Hospital Compare website to provide patients with information they need to assess the performance of hospitals in which they might seek medical care. The website supplies data on quality measures, as well as an overall star rating.

The new formula incorporates the following elements:

  • Only hospitals that report the appropriate criteria measures are included in star ratings. Of the 4,578 hospitals on Hospital Compare, 3,692 are included.
  • The new formula removes extreme hospital outliers to minimize the effect on the overall rating.
  • There is an effort to cluster hospitals to so-called “complete convergence” to make hospitals with the same number of stars more alike than previously.
  • The new methodology decreases the emphasis on patient experience and increases the score for readmission and timeliness of care.
  • The new rating system increases the number of hospitals in the “1-star” and “2-star” categories and decreases the bunching of hospitals in the middle categories.

More information on the star rating methodology can be found at:

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