Hospitals in the Inpatient Quality Reporting, Outpatient Quality Reporting, and PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting programs can preview their overall hospital quality star rating and other quality data through May 5.
The inpatient preview reports, hospital-specific reports and overall hospital quality star ratings won’t include patient safety indicator (PSI) results for fiscal year 2018. The overall hospital quality star rating will be updated using fiscal year 2017 PSI results.
Hospitals are asked to download the reports early in the preview period so they can review the information thoroughly.
Hospitals and facilities can find their preview data by going to the QualityNet Secure Portal. The information will be reported on the Hospital Compare website, which is where Medicare beneficiaries and the public can review hospital quality of care data.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services connected the Hospital Compare star ratings to patient satisfaction and care experiences at acute care hospitals. CMS bases the ratings on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey measures.
Some of the topics in the survey include nurse and doctor communication with patients, the responsiveness of staff, hospital cleanliness and noise and how hospitals prepared patients for their post-discharge care.
The grades are meant to help patients choose the best hospitals with the highest quality and could lead hospitals to improve problem areas. Some hospital leaders say the ratings are misleading, oversimplify complex data and can harm great hospitals’ reputations. The Association of American Medical Colleges said last year that the ratings don’t account for differences in patient populations and the complexity of conditions in teaching hospitals. Handling more complex conditions can lead to a poor grade and drive patients away, the group said.
Some of the “top” hospitals in the U.S. have received average ratings in past years, while lower profile hospitals wound up with five stars.