Hospital Compare launches star ratings: Industry leaders react

CMS' Hospital Compare launched its five-star rating system Thursday, to mixed reviews from industry leaders.

Below, leaders from various parts of the industry sound off on the new rating system, which is based on patient experience scores from HCAHPS scores.

Lisa Allen, chief patient experience officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore): "A one point difference can change you from a two-star to a three-star hospital. I'm not sure they've designed it to truly differentiate a hospital that provides a great experience from one that doesn't," she told Kaiser Health News.

Jean Chenoweth, executive with Truven Health Analytics: "It would be very unfortunate and misleading if a hospital marketing department could claim to be a CMS five-star hospital and fail to mention it only reflected a patient's perception of care," she told Kaiser Health News.

Akin Demehin, senior associate director of policy, American Hospital Association: "Hospitals are leaders in sharing quality and safety information to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare. While star ratings could be an effective way to make quality information easier to understand, the devil is in the details. There's a risk of oversimplifying the complexity of quality care or misinterpreting what is important to a particular patient, especially since patients seek care for many different reasons," he said, according to AHA News Now.

Evan Marks, chief strategy officer, Healthgrades: "At Healthgrades, we have used a star rating system to help communicate information about hospital quality to consumers for more than a decade and know how effective it is in helping simplify complex measures. CMS consulted with Healthgrades when developing their system. Healthgrades fully supports CMS' efforts to make information on hospitals more accessible and easily understandable for consumers," he said in an emailed statement.  

Would you like to add your reaction? Email Heather Punke, editor with Becker's Hospital Review, at hpunke@beckershealthcare.com.

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