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CMS Announces Star-Rating System for Hospitals

April 16, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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Like restaurants, hotels, and movies, hospitals will be judged prominently on a star-rating system, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) latest announcement. 
 
CMS said that it will introduce a star-rating system on Hospital Compare, its public information website where it lists how hospitals rate on several quality measures. The star rating system will focused on the patient experience at Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. It will use data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. The ste will showcase 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare, one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures plus a summary star rating that combines or rolls up all the HCAHPS Star Ratings.
 
HCAHPS focuses on the patient experience, including nurse and doctor communication with patients, staff responsiveness, cleanliness and noise level, and how well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings. 
 
“The patient experience Star Ratings will make it easier for consumers to use the information on the Hospital Compare website and spotlight excellence in health care quality,” stated Patrick Conway, M.D. Acting Principal Deputy Administrator for CMS and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality. “These star ratings also encourage hospitals and clinicians to strive to continuously improve the patient experience and quality of care delivered to all patients.”
 
The initiative is part of CMS’ greater effort to increase transparency of hospitals and healthcare systems, as well as providers, by publicly releasing quality data on various websites. The agency has created Physician Compare and Nursing Home Compare websites as well. 
 
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