CMS gives 213 hospitals highest rating for patient experience

Brief:

  • CMS’ latest update to its Hospital Compare website gives 213 hospitals top star ratings for patient experience, according to the Advisory Board.
  •  The agency updated the website on April 25, posting new HCAHPS summary star ratings for 3,466 U.S. hospitals.
  • The three-year-old program rates hospitals on 11 publicly reported measures in HCAHPS surveys, which assess patient experience. The scores are then combined into a     single star rating of one to five.

Insight:

Hospitals have a lot at stake with CMS’ star rating program and other online rating sites. A strong rating can be a magnet for patients and boost an organization’s revenue, while a poor one can tarnish brand-name recognition.

Last fall, Chicago-based Saint Anthony Hospital sued The Leapfrog Group for defamation after the group changed its safety grade from A to C. In the complaint, Saint Anthony said the change would “erase years of improvements at the hospital and irreparably degrade the public perception of the hospital.”

And CMS delayed for five months its most recent overall star ratings after the American Hospital Association raised questions about the accuracy and reliability of the scores and the methodology underlying the program.

Meanwhile, providers are offering same-day scheduling, centralized registration, texting and other consumer-focused conveniences to increase patient satisfaction and boost their bottom line. A growing number of hospitals are also naming chief experience officers to focus on patient engagement across the organization.

And as interest in the area increases, more products are popping up. At HLTH 2018 this week, Change Healthcare CEO Neil de Crescenzo told conference-goers the group is teaming up with Adobe and Microsoft to develop a tool to help providers gauge patient engagement — with the goal of informing business strategies and the patient experience. Details were scarce, but the tool is expected to aggregate consumer data from a variety of sources, including EHRs, scheduling, registration and billing.

The current update to Hospital Compare draws on HCAHPS data collected from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Hospitals were rated on how well nurses communicated with patients, physician communication with patients, responsiveness of the hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, cleanliness of the hospital environment, quietness of the hospital environment, discharge information, care transition, overall hospital rating and whether patients would recommend the hospital.

Of the 3,466 hospitals CMS assessed:

  •     213 got five stars
  •     1,177 got four stars
  •     1,522 got three stars
  •     495 got two stars
  •     59 got one star

The number of five-star ratings varied on individual metrics, however. For example, 309 hospitals received five stars for discharge information, but just 179 got five stars for pain management and only 112 earned five stars for cleanliness.

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