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‘4 things to know’ about CMS star ratings

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Becker’s Hospital Review has come up with “four things to know” about CMS’s star ratings for hospitals, whose launch has been postponed to July.

1. “CMS had planned to release a new star ratings system on {its} Hospital Compare on April 21. The current star ratings, which went live in April 2015, incorporate only patient experience scores, and the new overall star ratings intend to include quality measures such as readmissions, mortality, effectiveness of care and timeliness of care in addition to patient experience scores.”

2. After the program’s final methodology was announced in January, several stakeholders spoke out against the ratings system. 60 senators sent a letter to Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, urging CMS to delay releasing the ratings because of concerns the system “may not accurately take into account hospitals that treat patients with low socioeconomic status or multiple complex chronic conditions.”

Members of the House sent a similar letter.

3.” …{T}HE agency said it developed its methodology in coordination with many stakeholders, but it would delay the overall star ratings release in response to ‘targeted concerns about specific calculations’ and feedback from stakeholders.”

4. Prior to the new July release date, the specific date  of which has not been announced, “CMS plans to listen to stakeholders — people with questions on the methodology can email — and work with hospitals on their data — a national provider call is scheduled for May 12. After the star ratings go live ‘in their first iteration,’ the agency plans to ‘refine and improve the site….”’

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