3 ways to improve your hospital's star rating

A new report from Deloitte provides insight into the mechanisms behind CMS' Medicare Overall Hospital Star Ratings Program and offers hospitals strategies to achieve a five-star rating.

For the report, researchers at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions analyzed 64 quality measures CMS used in 2016 to calculate star ratings. Researchers found hospitals that earn top ratings usually have better scores in heavily weighted categories like mortality, patient experience and readmissions. Five-star hospitals also reported fewer measures than one-star hospitals. A hospital could still achieve a five-star rating if they don't have complete data or score below the national average for one or two categories.

Deloitte identified three strategies hospitals can use to improve their star ratings.

  1. Implement a wide-reaching quality improvement initiative.Researchers found large variation in hospitals' ability to report some quality measures, which is likely caused by differences in patient case loads. As these reporting differences could impact score performance, Deloitte recommends hospitals implement a multi-pronged quality initiative to improve patient outcomes and experiences, which CMS weighs more heavily than other measures.

  1. Promote a culture of quality improvement among clinicians. Individual clinicians directly influence the quality of care provided in a hospital. Hospitals must ensure their clinicians are involved in the quality improvement process and understand which areas need improvement.

  1. Invest in technology to analyze quality improvement initiatives. Analyzing internal data to identify the main factors that drive a hospital's performance is crucial to improving quality, according to Deloitte.

To view the full report, click here.

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