The AHA yesterday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to strategically build its star rating system for overall hospital-level quality rather than trying to retrofit existing Hospital Compare measures when they were not chosen with this goal in mind. AHA supports “the concept of providing an easier way for patients and community members to understand what the published measures are telling them about the quality of care being provided in America's hospitals,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA’s acting senior executive for policy. “We also support the majority of CMS's principles for creating a star rating system and are glad to assist in thinking through how to overcome many of the impediments to successfully creating such a system. However, we are concerned that CMS is trying to retrofit the existing measures into telling patients and consumers something meaningful when those measures were not chosen with this goal in mind, and many are not constructed in such a way that they can accurately depict the kind of distinctions in care CMS wants to depict.”

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