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Hospital Groups Strike Back at Hospital Rating Systems

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2014

But Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Score, Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals, Healthgrades, Consumer Reports Hospital Safety Rankings and U.S. News and World Report, got only one star.

How Should Hospitals Respond?
HANYS spokeswoman Melissa Mansfield explained in an e-mail:

"Some of the report card publishers do have an agenda, as they profit from the licensing fees, magazine subscriptions, or consulting services through for-profit corporations. Others use their report card results to negotiate contracts with health care providers. Individual hospitals must make their own decisions about whether and how to respond to report card organizations."

U.S. News & World Report editor Ben Harder, also responding by email, said:

"One easily overlooked source of differences among different public reporting services is that the services differ in their objectives—that is, each organization seeks to measure a different dimension of healthcare quality. U.S. News aims to evaluate hospitals on whether they excel in treating the most medically challenging patients, the kind for whom hospital choice holds the highest possible stakes. The best hospitals on that dimension may or may not stand out from the pack on other dimensions of quality, such as value-based purchasing, adherence to safe practices, or routine care."

Harder added,

"If the new principles were followed to their letter, public reporting services would tend to identify only extreme positive or extreme negative outliers, masking clinically important variability among the vast majority of hospitals."
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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.