The National Quality Forum’s Hospital Quality Star Rating Summit today released recommendations to improve the transparency, fairness and usefulness of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings. More than 20 health care experts participated in the August summit, co-chaired by Nancy Foster, AHA vice president for quality and patient safety policy.
 
As CMS considers improvements to the ratings system, the report recommends the agency be clear about the program’s intent and goals; transparent about what the star ratings do and do not convey; and present the ratings and summary data in a way that meets consumer priorities and needs. Among other specific changes, the expert panel recommends CMS consider regrouping measures to reflect clinically meaningful domains and service lines; additional measures and data sources; and alternative approaches to group scoring, peer groupings and the eligibility criteria for a five-star rating.
 
“We recognize that informed consumers are critical to advancing an equitable and patient-centered health care delivery system,” Foster said. “NQF provides a unique forum for all voices to collaborate to strengthen this important resource to support patients in their health care decisions.”

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