AHA weighs in on proposed star ratings changes: 4 things to know

The American Hospital Association offered input on potential changes to CMS' Overall Hospital Star Ratings mythology in a March 27 comment letter to Kate Goodrich, MD, CMO of CMS.

Four things to know:

1. CMS announced the proposed changes Feb. 28 in conjunction with its latest star ratings update. The changes seek to enhance the star ratings methodology by making hospital comparisons more precise and consistent.

2. Ashley Thompson, senior vice president of public policy for AHA, outlined the medical organization's thoughts on the proposed changes in a letter to Dr. Goodrich.

3. Ms. Thompson said the AHA only supports three of CMS' proposed methodology changes: adopting empirical criteria for measure groups, peer grouping star ratings among similar hospitals, and using an "explicit" scoring approach.

"The remaining proposals either fail to address important shortcomings with star ratings, or simply do not have enough information for us to judge their impact," she wrote.

4. The AHA also urged CMS to consider other star ratings improvement measures not addressed in its proposal. These steps include studying how to mitigate the effect of outliers on readmission calculations and giving hospitals star ratings based on specific clinical conditions, versus one overall rating.

To view the full letter, click here.

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