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AAMC President Says Hospital Star Ratings are “Deeply Flawed”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Star Ratings “Deeply Flawed,” Offer Incomplete Picture of Hospital Performance

AAMC Urges Patients Not to Be Misled by Ratings

Source: Washington, D.C., July 27, 2016—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) release of the Hospital Compare Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings:

“Patients should beware of making decisions about hospitals using the newly released star ratings. They are based on a deeply flawed methodology that does not take into account important differences in the patient populations and the complexity of conditions that teaching hospitals treat. As a result, many of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals—institutions that provide the most advanced health care in the world—have been assigned lower ratings than other hospitals that treat patients with less complex conditions or that treat only certain conditions. This new system could have very serious consequences for patients who are choosing where to go for treatment, potentially driving them away from some of the best hospitals for their conditions.

Through these star ratings, CMS has implied that hospitals have been measured on an equal basis and that the comparisons are fair, an assumption that is unfortunately not true. Teaching hospitals perform a wide array of complicated and common procedures, pioneer new treatments, and care for broader socio-demographic patient populations that may not have access to regular care. Yet under the new ratings, they are compared directly to hospitals with more homogenous patient populations and hospitals that do not do enough procedures to be counted.

Read the full statement online.

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