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Hospital Groups Strike Back at Hospital Rating Systems

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2014

Many of the ranking systems require hospitals to pay to advertise an award, or to participate in a reporting program, which Conroy says has made hospitals feel "like they're being 'held up' a little bit, because a lot of them charge you to use their ranking publicly. And CEOs have to make hard decisions about that because they have limited resources, which should be directed toward patient care."

A Different Version for Hospitals
The three-page AAMC document is backed by America's Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Federation of American Hospitals.  But the publicly distributed version stops short of actually saying which rating systems comply with which of the 25 aspects a good rating system should have.

Hospitals have access to a longer version of the document, which evaluates two Leapfrog scoring systems, Hospital Compare, Healthgrades, and U.S. News and World Report. But that version is not available to the public, Henderson says.

Why not publicly distribute who meets the new criteria?

"We didn't want to be an evaluator," Conroy says, "because there are other organizations that do that," although she says the AAMC group may do that in the future.

She pointed to the Healthcare Association of New York State's "Hanys' Report Card on Report Cards," issued last October, and the Informed Patient Institute, each of which evaluates these scorecards.

HANYS gave The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital Compare three stars for meeting most of HANYS criteria.

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1 comments on "Hospital Groups Strike Back at Hospital Rating Systems"


Evan Marks (3/12/2014 at 2:48 PM)
Dr. Conroys statement regarding Healthgrades is inaccurate and uninformed. First, Healthgrades publishes hospital specific measures taken directly from CMS hospital compare such as readmission rates, timely and effective care measures and HCAHPS scores. Each is properly attributed to CMS as the data source. We also attribute our 14 AHRQ PSI's to CMS data and licensed AHRQ software and their associated methodology. Regarding the 37 different in-hospital complications or in-hospital or 30 day mortality measures. All of the data sources are attributed to CMS or 18 state all payer data sources. All inclusion and exclusion rules for all measures are provided at the individual ICD9 code level. All complications identified and measured are similarly documented and published. Our risk adjustment process and scoring methodologies are all documented, published and are available free of charge or free of registration to all interested parties at our quality center on Healthgrades.com. All Healthgrades awards compiled from various quality, safety and patient experience measures are similarly documented, published and available to all interested parties at our Quality Center. In addition Healthgrades would be delighted to explain and discuss our measures, methodologies and data sources to any interested physicians, administrators, hospital, or researcher at any time...including the Chief Healthcare Officer of the AAMC. We fully support the intentions behind the guiding principles of the AAMC and look forward to working with them and all interested parties seeking to improve the safety and quality of care in America's hospitals.