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HANYS Issues Report On Hospital Report Cards, Evaluation Finds Wide Variation in Methodologies and Results

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The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) today issued a unique report that evaluates ten prominent government, not-for-profit, and for-profit hospital report cards. HANYS’ review found a wide variation in the methodologies and results.

Currently, multiple organizations issue grades or report cards on hospital performance. Each uses a different approach, generating varied scores for the same hospital, leaving it unclear to the public what scores, if any, are accurate indicators of performance.

Hospitals often use external reports as tools to measure their performance and aid in ongoing quality improvement efforts. However, these reports are often difficult to replicate and incorporate into internal hospital quality improvement efforts due to the wide variation of scores and methodologies. As a result, managing the influx of conflicting quality information can drain limited hospital staff time and financial resources.

The complete report is available at


The report evaluates ten prominent hospital report cards:

  • The Joint Commission Quality Check;
  • New York State Department of Health Hospital-Acquired Infections Report;
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare;
  • New York State Department of Health Hospital Profile Quality Section;
  • Niagara Health Quality Coalition New York State Hospital Report Card;
  • Consumer Reports Hospital Safety Rankings;
  • Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Score;
  • Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals;
  • Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals; and
  • U.S. News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings.

Each report is scored on the following criteria:

  • Transparent Methodology: The complete methodology is available, enabling hospitals to replicate the results and analyze the data internally.
  • Evidence-Based Measures: The measures used are rooted in science and supported by peer reviewed literature.
  • Measure Alignment: The quality measures are approved by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Measure Application Partnership (MAP), and/or aligned with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or other national government-based or accrediting organizations.
  • Appropriate Data Source: Evidence-based clinical data obtained through medical chart abstraction or from a national quality performance registry is used, instead of administrative data.
  • Most Current Data: The data used to generate the report is no more than one year old from the release of the report publication.
  • Risk-Adjusted Data: A statistical model is applied to the data that adjusts for significant differences in patient illness severity, demographic factors, and other factors that impact patient outcomes. The risk adjustment must be transparent.
  • Data Quality: The data have undergone quality and integrity edits to correct for errors in the source file and eliminate outliers that can skew the data results.
  • Consistent Data: Comparative data points are gathered from the same sources and timeframes.
  • Hospital Preview: The report card organization allows hospitals to review the report prior to its release to correct potential errors.
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