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Get Ready for Medicare's 5-Star Hospital Ratings

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 3, 2014

What's most important to her organization and the hospitals it represents, Foster says, is that the main pages of Hospital Compare not lose the granular, specific numbers on the public display pages, which are now on Hospital Compare. Even if CMS retains the ability to download specifics in the enormous CMS database for all quality measures, Foster still wants those numbers displayed on each hospital's Hospital Compare web pages.

"Our perspective is that the most important result of quality measurement activities that have gone on this far have been to inform and encourage hospital quality improvement efforts," Foster says. "And for those purposes, the details are important. Knowing the precise number (of how a hospital scored on a particular measure) is important."

So go ahead, CMS, and display those stars next to hospital names and measures such as readmissions or central line bloodstream infections or emergency department wait times.

Just don't take away any specific numbers showing each facility's score. Hospitals need these details in order to improve.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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