CMS changed overall star rating formula in December update — here's what's new

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CMS updated its Hospital Compare database in December, which included an update to its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program.

This was the second time the agency updated the overall quality star ratings after initially launching the program in July 2016 and updating rankings in October.

CMS changed the formula for calculating hospitals' star ratings in the December update, lowering the number of quality measures used from 64 measures in seven categories in October to 57 measures in the same seven categories:

CMS removed the following measures in December compared to October:

Also in December, CMS announced it would update the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program only twice in 2017, instead of quarterly as previously announced. The updates will occur in July and December.

In the new update, significantly fewer hospitals earned five stars than in July or October. See the breakdown below.

Additionally, 969 hospitals in December did not have enough data to receive an overall star rating. In October, that number sat at 937.

More details on the July, October and December updates to the Overall Hospital Star Rating program can be found here.

More articles on hospital quality ratings:
NQF publishes guide to reduce variation in quality measures
Hospital quality measures need work: Mass General experts weigh in
Dr. Peter Pronovost: 'Patients deserve quality measures that are more science, less sausage-making'

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