New Hospital Ranking System: Should You Worry?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a new hospital ranking system on its Nursing Home Compare website. Dubbed the Five-Star Quality Rating System, the initiative aims to help consumers, families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily.

CMS says that it bases its rankings on answers to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The system rates each nursing home between 1 and 5 stars. Those that achieve a 5-star rating are considered to provide above average quality care. Meanwhile, a 1-star rating connotes below average quality of care.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) cautioned that this new rating system could create an unfair disadvantage for some hospitals. In a statement, the AHA said that the system poses a risk of oversimplifying the vastly complex process of providing quality care, or misrepresenting what’s important to a particular patient.

“Patients should use all available resources at their disposal — including their health care providers — to identify which health care decisions are right for them,” the statement adds.

As important as satisfaction surveys are—even affecting hospital payments and reimbursements—hospitals should be more focused on providing quality care, while improving revenue cycle management. This will help them better define quality standards, monitor progress, and create a clearer path for improvement.


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