CMS delays new hospital quality ratings amid pressure from Congress, industry
CMS postponed the release of new overall quality star ratings for U.S. hospitals one day before their scheduled reveal, bowing to pressure from lawmakers and industry stakeholders.
Public release of the data is now slated for July, CMS said in an e-mail to hospitals Wednesday. Over the next two months, the agency also plans to host calls with providers to clear up questions about current methodology and get feedback on refining the program.
The federal government has been promoting the ratings for hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis facilities and other providers as a way for consumers to compare and select providers. The set that was delayed this week gives hospitals one to five stars based on specific inpatient and outpatient reporting measures.
Hospitals reviewed the ratings earlier this year. Only 87 of more than 3,600 U.S. hospitals got the highest five-star rating, according to the American Hospital Association. There has been a lot of scrutiny by opposition of the program that it oversimplifies the complex system of delivering quality care to patients.