The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will leave alone for now the five-star ratings system of hospital quality the agency posts on Medicare.gov, says the American Hospital Association.
The government agency that oversees Medicare, Medicaid and Healthcare.gov has yet to say why its keeping the current five-star system the same for now or if future changes are forthcoming. But the American Hospital Association, which has called for eliminating the rating systems, says in a new blog post that the government has decided not to take any action at present.
“CMS decided not to proceed with the October update to continue its examination of potential changes to the Star Rating methodology based on public feedback,” the post says. “The star ratings released last December will remain on the Hospital Compare website until the next update.”
The American Hospital Association wants to do away with a key Medicare website feature that rates a hospital on patient satisfaction using 1 to 5 stars.
Each year hospitals that bill Medicare must complete a Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, also known as Hospital CAHPS, a survey designed as a standardized methodology for measuring patients’ perspectives on hospital care. The goal is for each hospital to get at least 300 completed patient surveys per year, says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The ratings are relatively new. The first star rankings appeared on Medicare.gov in July 2016 and were updated in October. The star ratings are based on self-reported data points from each hospital encompassing 64 quality measurements in seven categories that include mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services then uses an algorithm to assign a 1-5 star rating on about 3,700 hospitals nationwide, which consumers can view on the Hospital Compare section of Medicare.gov.