Statement on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) overall hospital star ratings
President and CEO
American Hospital Association
July 27, 2016
The new CMS star ratings program is confusing for patients and families trying to choose the best hospital to meet their health care needs. Health care consumers making critical decisions about their care cannot be expected to rely on a rating system that raises far more questions than answers. And it adds yet another to a long list of conflicting rating and ranking systems.
Hospitals and members of Congress are in agreement: we can do better. In a bipartisan letter, the majority of Congress – 60 members of the Senate and more than 225 members of the House –asked CMS to delay release of the star ratings until they can be improved. In addition, we are especially troubled that the current ratings scheme unfairly penalizes teaching hospitals and those serving higher numbers of the poor.
We are further disappointed that CMS moved forward with release of its star ratings, which clearly are not ready for prime time. As written, they fall short of meeting principles that the AHA has embraced for quality report cards and rating systems. We want to work with CMS and the Congress to fix the hospital star ratings so that it is helpful and useful to both patients and the hospitals that treat them.
About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
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