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Study Finds Lack of Understanding of Hospital Ranking Systems Differences Complicates Measures Use

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A study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality found the lack of transparency and understanding about the differences and similarities for various hospital ranking systems complicates use of the measures.

US News Best Hospitals, Vizient Quality and Accountability Study, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Rating, Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, and the Truven Top 100 Hospitals ratings were compared using Spearman correlations. Rank aggregation was used to combine the scores generating a Quality Composite Rank (QCR). The highest correlation between rating systems was shown between the Leapfrog Safety Grade and the CMS Star Rating. In a proportional odds logistic regression, a greater discordance between the CMS Star Rating, Vizient rank, US News, and Leapfrog was associated with a lower overall rank in the QCR.

Researchers suggest by combining the results of these ranking systems into a composite, the measurement of hospital quality can be simplified.

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