CMS Delays Star Ratings Data

The scheduled July 2018 update to the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings postponed for additional analysis

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decided against updating the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings to allow for additional time to assess the methodology and measures used to determine the score, as well as other stakeholder concerns. Typically, the ratings are released in July and December, but no date has been set for when the next round of Star Ratings will be released. 

The Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings were designed by CMS to summarize up to 57 quality measures across seven different areas as a way of creating a clear, easy-to-understand metric for consumers. However, the complexity of how these ratings are formulated can be quite frustrating to hospitals and confusing for consumers, leading stakeholders like the American Hospital Association and America’s Essential Hospitals to advocate for delaying the new scores. 

“We have continually advocated to CMS that the measures and methodology used for this rating system are ambiguous to both patients and providers.” Said Thornton Kirby, President and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association. “We appreciate CMS postponing these new scores to allow more time for stakeholders to review the methodology and measures so that they can be presented transparently and reliably to the public.”

As part of the review process, CMS will seek feedback from a multi-disciplinary Technical Expert Panel, a Provider Leadership Workgroup, and a public comment period. For more information, CMS has provided a July 2018 Hospital Compare FAQ that can be downloaded here.