CMS Releases First Hospital Report Card

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their new hospital grading system in July, called the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating. The system rates hospitals in a way similar to movie theater ratings prompting criticism from a group representing care centers in New York.

The first report was released in July after a three month delay due to hospitals and other medical groups questioning of the methodology used. The new system focuses on rating areas that were not previously available to the public, such as hospital safety and mortality ratings. The ratings will be published quarterly and will include new measures and remove retired measures.

There were 155 hospitals graded in New York. Of those hospitals only the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan received a five star rating. Following this, twelve hospitals received a four star rating while the remaining hospitals received three (49), two (58) and one star ratings (35). Hospitals have criticized the ratings as an “oversimplification” and question the methodology behind it.

Michael Pauly, a spokesman for the Healthcare Association of New York State (HAYNS) suggested patients speak with physicians and local hospital staff if they have any questions about the quality of care at the facility.  Pauly continued to say that while HAYNS appreciates the grading system it oversimplifies the overall quality of care. He claims the system does not account for socio-demographic factors, is based on flawed measures and uses a methodology that cannot be reproduced by hospitals or other outside organizations.

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