The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated data on the Hospital Compare website and on data.medicare.gov to provide patients, families and all stakeholders with the information they need to compare the performance of hospitals where they seek medical care. Along with data on quality measures, CMS will also update the Overall Hospital Star Rating.
"CMS is committed to empowering beneficiaries by providing transparent, comprehensive, and reliable information," Verma said.
Hospital Compare (https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html) reports information on quality measures for over 4,000 hospitals nationwide, including Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers and military hospitals. The website provides information for patients and caregivers on how well hospitals deliver care and encourages hospitals to improve the quality of care they provide. Users can compare performance across many common conditions.
For this update, CMS will respond to stakeholder concerns by updating several existing measures and the Overall Star Rating. The Overall Star Rating has been revised to use an enhanced methodology to assign ratings to hospitals, based on Technical Expert Panel recommendations and public input "We continue to refine the Star Ratings and look forward to an ongoing dialogue with hospitals and patients and their families on how we can provide beneficiaries useful information," Verma said.
CMS's Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating on Hospital Compare was first displayed in July 2016, and we intend to update the rating twice per year, in July and December. CMS is committed to working with stakeholders in a transparent manner to evaluate and update the Overall Star Rating.
As a proven healthcare consumer tool, the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating summarizes data from existing measures on Hospital Compare for each hospital to allow its users to easily compare hospital facilities. In addition, with data.medicare.gov, users can explore and download hospital data, as well as data on ambulatory surgical centers, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and some cancer hospitals.
As part of the December update, CMS will post supporting documents related to the Star Ratings on the QualityNet website:
Quarterly Specifications - Provides updates on various national distributions of the Star Ratings: https://www.qualitynet.org/dcs/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=QnetPublic%2FPage%2FQnetTier3&cid=1228775959066
Comprehensive Methodology - Provides several enhancements to the Overall Star Rating methodology: https://www.qualitynet.org/dcs/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=QnetPublic%2FPage%2FQnetTier3&cid=1228775957165
SAS Pack - Provides materials to calculate individual Star Ratings: https://www.qualitynet.org/dcs/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=QnetPublic%2FPage%2FQnetTier3&cid=1228775958130
CMS will post the summary of comments from the public comment period on the Technical Expert Panel recommendations on cms.gov in the Public Input Summary Report, which provides stakeholders with results of public input collected last fall. The public input period was intended to draw comments on several enhancements to the Star Ratings recommended by a Technical Expert Panel and other stakeholders. CMS will post this report on cms.gov at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/MMS/Public-Comments.html.