The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today updated with 2021 data the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings at its Care Compare website and Provider Data Catalog. The anticipated update is the second since the agency overhauled the ratings’ methodology in 2020.
“The AHA appreciates many of the recent changes that CMS has made to its Overall Star Ratings program, which have made the ratings easier for patients and hospitals to interpret, more transparent, and more balanced in favor of high-priority topics,” said Akin Demehin, AHA’s senior director of quality and patient safety policy. “However, we believe that CMS still has work to do to improve the Overall Star Ratings program. For example, while we agree with the intent of CMS’ peer grouping approach — that is, to create a more level playing field among hospitals offering differing levels of care — we believe it still needs improvement to ensure it fosters equitable comparisons. We also have encouraged CMS to examine the influence of social drivers of health on star ratings, and consider approaches to ensure the ratings are not unintentionally biased against those hospitals caring for structurally marginalized communities. Hospitals and health systems are longstanding supporters of transparency and are committed to continuing to work with CMS to advance the goal we share — providing the public with accurate, meaningful information about quality.”