fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Leader Calls New Hospital Star Ratings “Not Ready for Primetime”

July 27, 2016 | Chip Kahn

Category: FAH News, Quality

We believe that star ratings can be helpful for consumers if they can be useful in health care decision-making. The new hospital star ratings fall short and are not ready for primetime. 

CMS should go back to the drawing board. The information patients and their families need is too important to go public with the approach announced today.

The methodology used to calculate these ratings has many important defects. Most notably, it does not recognize the often significant differences between large and small hospitals, teaching and non-teaching, and those hospitals providing care in underprivileged areas.    

FAH, along with other major hospital associations as well as 60 Senators and 225 House Members, have urged CMS several times to work more closely with hospitals to identify and fix these issues before posting the stars online. That has not happened yet.   

FAH will continue to work with policy makers and our health care partners to ensure this process is transparent and to fix the technical flaws in the star rating process so that it ultimately yields value-added information for patients as well as hospitals.