Hospital groups call out CMS over star ratings methodology

CMS' updated its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings Jan. 28 with its existing methodology, a move several hospital groups have expressed their discontent with.

CMS has faced a range of criticism regarding the rating system's methodology, spurring the agency to delay several ratings updates since their 2016 launch. CMS collected more than 800 comments on its star ratings during a public comment period in 2019 and plans to update its methodology in 2021.

"While we appreciate that CMS is working on potential improvements to the star rating methodology for 2021, we strongly believe that today's republication of the flawed and misleading ratings do not advance the goal of providing the public with accurate, purposeful information about quality of care," Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement to AHA News.

America's Essential Hospitals also said it is "disappointed the agency continues to publicly post the ratings" in an emailed statement to Becker's. The group claims the current star ratings do not provide accurate information to guide healthcare consumers' care decisions. 

In a press release announcing the star ratings update, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Americans deserve updated information on hospitals' quality performance.

"While we look ahead to new star ratings proposals, today's updated star ratings use the existing methodology to ensure patients have the information they need," she said.

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