Sixty senators today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the April 21 release of the overall hospital quality star ratings in order “to provide the necessary time to more closely examine the star rating methodology, analyze its impact on different types of hospitals, and provide more transparent information regarding the calculation of the ratings to determine accuracy.”

The senators wrote, “While we support the public reporting of provider quality data, we are concerned that the current Star Ratings system may not accurately take into account hospitals that treat patients with low socioeconomic status or multiple complex chronic conditions. We appreciate CMS’s recognition in previous rulemaking of the effects these patient populations have on Medicare Advantage and Part D plans and urge CMS to give similar consideration to the similar effects on the Hospital Compare Star Ratings system.” 

The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Bob Casey, D-Pa.. Reps. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., are collecting signatures through Wednesday for a similar letter in the House.

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