A panel of experts today discussed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ overall hospital star ratings and other quality measures during a U.S. News colloquium. CMS released the overall hospital star ratings in July over the strong objections of the hospital field and a bipartisan majority of both houses of Congress. Participating on the panel, Akin Demehin, AHA director of policy, said AHA and hospitals “are big believers in transparency. It is important to note that Hospital Compare emerged out of a voluntary effort by hospitals over a decade ago to share quality information with patients. But the star ratings create more confusion than clarity. We believe CMS should go back to the drawing board to make a more accurate and fair system.” Part of the impetus for the star ratings was an explosion in the number of required measures on the website, he noted. “We need to focus on the measures that matter the most to improving care.” He and other participants also cited the need for national quality programs to adjust hospital readmissions and other outcome measures for sociodemographic factors to create fair comparisons.