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Health Affairs Blog: CMS Hospital Star Rating Methodogy Possibly Flawed

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A post in the Health Affairs Blog discusses the methodology behind CMS’s Hospital Star Rating system. The star rating methodology intends to rate all hospitals based on 64 quality measures from seven quality domains and to make domain weight reflect relative importance of a quality domain to patients. However, the blog post suggests, the methodology is flawed.  CMS has assigned greater weight (66 percent of the overall star rating) to the three domains—mortality, readmission, and patient safety—that measure clinical outcomes such as whether a patient dies, contracts a hospital-acquired infection, or is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of an inpatient stay. Other domains that focus on processes such as efficient use of medical imaging and timeliness of care are given less weight. Nonetheless, CMS calculated and published star ratings for hospitals that had sufficient data to report on as few as three quality domains, including some hospitals that only had data from one clinical outcome domain.

Read more: http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2016/11/14/cms-hospital-quality-star-ratings-fail-to-pass-the-common-sense-test/

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