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CMS Hospital Star Rating: Four St. Louis Metro Hospitals Awarded Five Stars

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Congratulations are due to four St. Louis metro area hospitals whose quality results have earned them recognition as a Five-Star Hospital by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Similar to the Overall Star Rating Program for nursing homes and health plans, CMS has also developed a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers make quality comparisons on hospitals in an easily comprehensible way. Although CMS has reported star ratings privately to hospitals for some time, hospital scores have only been public since summer of 2016.

 

After taking public comment, CMS revised its rating system in 2017. As a result, the number of five-star rated hospitals increased from just 83 to 337. Yet, a five-star ranking remains exceptional. Out of the more than 4,000 hospitals rated nationally, less than 8% of hospitals have achieved this distinction. The rating program covers 57 quality measures across seven areas of performance: 1) mortality, 2) safety of care, 3) readmission, 4) patient experience, 5) effectiveness of care, 6) timeliness of care and 7) efficient use of medical imaging. Another 67 considered measures were excluded due to overlap and/or fewer than 100 hospitals reporting on them. Additional methodologic changes were also made.

Performance varies across hospitals by measure and category. Not all top-rated hospitals receive the highest scores in every area. Since mortality, safety, readmissions and patient experience are more heavily weighted than the other three measures of performance, top-rated hospitals generally operate well in those categories. The public release of the CMS star ratings for hospitals was not available when MHI was creating ChooseWellSTL.org. As a new program, MHI decided to consider adding hospital stars in a future site update. The user-friendly CMS site shows hospital comparisons in an easily understood five-point scale, while also enabling users to scrutinize hospital performance further on specific, individual criteria, according to their interests.


Warm regards,

 

Louise Probst

BHC Executive Director


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