The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that it will delay until at least July 2016 the release of overall hospital quality “star ratings” on its Hospital Compare website. The ratings were originally scheduled to be released April 21.
The delay for the overall star ratings responds to the significant concerns raised by the AHA and others about whether the methodology provides a fair, accurate and meaningful representation of hospital performance.
In addition, a majority of Congress – 60 senators and 225 members of the House – weighed in urging CMS to delay the release and take time to re-evaluate its methodology.
“The delay is a necessary step as hospitals and health systems work with CMS to improve the ratings for patients, and the AHA commends CMS for their decision,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Health care consumers need reliable, factual information to make critical care decisions. We will continue to share our concerns with CMS as we look for ways to make changes to the ratings system, and ensure it is useful and helpful for patients.”
AHA members received a Special Bulletin with further details. CMS also announced that it is delaying its regularly scheduled update of data on individual Hospital Compare measures until May 4.
The ratings measure hospitals on a five-star scale and are based on quality measures from seven categories: effectiveness of care, efficient use of imaging, mortality, patient experience, readmissions, safety, and timeliness of care.