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Medicare Delays Plans For New Star Ratings On Hospitals After Congressional Pressure
Kaiser Health News

Bowing to pressure from the hospital industry and Congress, the Obama administration on Wednesday delayed releasing its new hospital quality rating measure just a day before its planned launch.

The new “overall hospital quality” star rating aimed to combine the government’s disparate efforts to measure hospital care into one easy-to-grasp metric. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now publishes more than 100 measures of aspects of hospital care, but many of these measures are technical and confusing since hospitals often do well on some and poorly on others. The new star rating boils 62 of the measures down into a unified rating of one to five stars, with five being the best.

But this month, 60 senators and 225 members of the House of Representatives signed letters urging CMS to delay releasing the star ratings. “We have heard from hospitals in our districts that they do not have the necessary data to replicate or evaluate CMS’s work to ensure that the methodology is accurate or fair,” the letter from the House members said.

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