CMS updates overall star ratings: What's changed?

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CMS' Hospital Compare released an update of its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program on Wednesday, the first time the agency has updated the program's data since it launched in July.

The October star ratings include updated patient experience, safety of care, effectiveness of care and timeliness of care data.

A hospital's star rating is only calculated using as many measures for which data is available, from as few as nine to as many as 64. In July, the average number of measures used to calculate a hospital's star rating was roughly 40, but in the October update it dropped slightly to 39.

An individual hospital's rating may change based on how its own data changed from July, but it also accounts for other hospital's data — meaning if many hospitals improved their performance, and one hospital did not, the relatively lower-performing hospital may now have a lower star rating than before.

In July, 102 hospitals received a five-star rating. Now, 112 hospitals earned the top rating. See below for how October's star ratings compare to those released in July.

  • Five stars: 112 in October (102 in July)
  • Four stars: 970 (934)
  • Three stars: 1,789 (1,770)
  • Two stars: 701 (723)
  • One star: 121 (133)

Additionally, in July, 937 hospitals did not have enough data to receive an overall star rating. Now, just 910 hospitals do not have a star rating.

Find more details on the overall star ratings here.

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