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In stout defense of CMS’s hospital rating system

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Ron Shinkman, the editor of FierceHealthcare, argues that despite the complaints of many hospital executives, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should be commended for coming out with its star system for rating hospital quality.

He writes, among other things that:

“One of the hospital sector’s arguments for suppressing the data: Safety-net hospitals tend to fare more poorly in the CMS ratings. Given that the poor usually wind up with inferior services in just about every walk of life, that the healthcare they receive is more spotty shouldn’t be a surprise.

“The solution is simple: Assume that patients are going to read your {online} ratings on safety. That means up your game, involve your staff in more training, and isolate and address potential flaws in care delivery.

“It may be tough going for a while, but the end result will be fewer errors, unnecessary deaths and injuries. And those healthier patients will spell healthier margins.”

To read Mr. Shinkman’s entire essay, please hit this link.

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