The AHA yesterday again urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove its overall hospital star ratings from Hospital Compare and explore alternative approaches. Commenting on proposed updates to the ratings methodology, AHA noted that further analysis performed after the initial release of the star ratings revealed errors in the execution of the chosen methodology. “CMS’s proposed changes address some of these missteps, and the AHA appreciates the agency’s willingness to receive stakeholder feedback on these changes,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. “However, CMS’s own analysis shows that nearly 700 hospitals would experience a change in their star ratings, amplifying our concern about the reliability and accuracy of the chosen methodology. At a minimum, AHA strongly urges CMS to remove the star ratings form Hospital Compare and not republish them until it corrects the errors and outside experts agree that the updated methodology is executed correctly. Even if CMS can improve the implementation of the current methodology, we continue to have significant concerns about the conceptual underpinnings of star ratings. The measures included in the ratings were never intended to create a single, representative score of hospital quality.”

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