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Safety-net hospital execs complain about new rating system

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is developing a hospital-quality star-rating system for the Hospital Compare Web site to provide currently available data on quality measurement to help inform healthcare decisions.The new  system will pull data from several sources, “which is different than the current system that’s based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, according to the CMS,” reports the publication.

“America’s Essential Hospitals, which represents 250 safety net hospitals around the country, said it’s concerned about the proposed methodology for the new system released by the agency earlier this year.

“We are not confident that the measures currently available on Hospital Compare enable CMS to create a single, methodologically sound rating of all aspects of hospital quality.”

“Although the intent of CMS, in developing an overall star-ratings system, is to provide patients with a simplified assessment of how hospitals perform overall on quality, each patient’s circumstances are different and the quality measures most relevant to their care will differ.”

“Also of concern is whether the system will take into account if a hospital serves more of a high-risk population. The trade group believes the CMS methodology should incorporate risk adjustment for socio-economic factors so results reflect differences in treatment across hospitals. ”


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