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A new day may be coming for CMS star ratings

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— Photo by ESA/Hubble

With the exit in expense-account scandal of Tom Price, M.D., as secretary of health and human services, CMS may finally be allowed to update its star  ratings of hospital quality, writes healthcare-sector consultant Rita Numerof, Ph.D., in Hospital Impact.

She notes that the ratings “evaluate provider performance across a variety of metrics, condensing the results into a single score. They offer the potential for patients and their loved ones to compare nearby facilities side-by-side, giving them the knowledge to ask important questions about their treatment, the process it is likely to follow, the costs they can anticipate, and the outcomes they can expect.”

“While the ratings were initially intended for quarterly updates and revisions, officials have stymied attempts to roll out a fresh review since July 2016. Just prior to Tom Price’s resignation from his post as Health and Human Services secretary, his department announced yet another push to delay the release of new ratings.”

“Though Price, a practicing physician, took a hard line against the ratings rollout, his potential successors may be more willing to revisit discussions on the system’s efficacy. Chief among them is CMS Administrator Seema Verma, whose work with Medicaid looked to combine institutional accountability with patient-centered care. It now seems that there may be a fresh opportunity to reopen the conversation on new ratings.”

To read all of Ms. Numerof’s observations, please hit this link.




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