The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today updated the overall hospital quality star ratings at Hospital Compare and data.medicare.gov as part of the quarterly refresh of the website’s data. The rating methodology used in today’s update is unchanged from 2019, and the ratings reflect measure performance data from the October 2019 Hospital Compare refresh.
The AHA has long urged CMS to suspend the overall star ratings while it works on improvements to the methodology, and last March commented on changes CMS was considering for future years. CMS plans to use formal rulemaking this year to propose any specific changes.
In a statement, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said, “AHA is disappointed that CMS continues to publish hospital star ratings that are plagued by longstanding concerns about accuracy and meaningfulness. While we appreciate that CMS is working on potential improvements to the star rating methodology for 2021, we strongly believe that today’s re-publication of the flawed and misleading ratings do not advance the goal of providing the public with accurate, purposeful information about quality of care. CMS should suspend the publishing of star ratings until needed improvements have been made to their methodology and have been vetted and are ready for implementation.”