The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) released a new report demonstrating how Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) star ratings skew considerably lower for hospitals serving in Michigan’s impoverished areas. In July, 2016, CMS issued star ratings for hospital quality. The ratings are measured using 64 of the more than 100 CMS monitored factors. Some of these factors help determine which hospitals may receive less federal money in 2017. In September 2016, Bloomberg News BNS published a report suggesting CMS star ratings skew lower for hospitals servicing poorer areas. Findings from the EAM report suggest this phenomena was happening in Michigan. According to the report, when comparing socioeconomic factors of service areas between the average of all one-star hospitals versus the average of all five-star hospitals, the results indicate inequality. For example, the difference in household median income is $20,697 and there is a 28.3 percent difference in the level of poverty. The most staggering statistic was the difference within the percentage of people who identify themselves as African-Americans. The average of all one-star hospitals have 72.2 percent more African-American population in their immediate services areas than five-star hospitals.
- Download full report: Impacts of Socioeconomics on Hospital Quality. Focus: State of Michigan. Economics Alliance for Michigan. November 2016 (PDF)