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RAND Urges More Patient Input in Hospital Rankings

Analysis  |  By Gregory A. Freeman  
   September 04, 2018

Patients have different priorities when judging hospital quality. Ratings sites should factor in those patient perspectives more, an analyst group says.

Public rankings of hospital quality would be more accurate and useful if the incorporated the different ways patients judge a hospital's performance, according to a recent report from the  RAND Corporation.

Hospitals closely watch their rankings on sites like CMS's Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings System, available on Hospital Compare, because they can have significant impact on consumer choices and even reimbursement levels. CMS has defended its Star Ratings calculations in the past but also responded to criticism by healthcare organizations by delaying some ratings and reformulating the analysis.

These are additional details from the RAND report:

  • RAND developed a tool called the Personalized Hospital Performance Report Card that asks patients to identify the quality factors most important to them.
  • With the tool, patients can choose factors that include mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, timeliness of care, effectiveness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging.
  • The RAND report is based on 2016 CMS Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings System data.

The analysts concluded that more personalization of data used in Star Ratings and other hospital rankings would "enhance the value of their overall ratings and rankings to the consumers who might use them."

Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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