WHA Urges CMS to Immediately Suspend Hospital Star Rating Program

March 26, 2019

WHA has written to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to request that star ratings be immediately suspended, despite Wisconsin’s average star score outshining other states. WHA wrote, “We continue to support ratings that benefit the public and are useful to hospitals in driving their quality improvement work. That level of transparency and utility is lost in star ratings.”

In 2017, CMS requested public input, but incorporated very few of the stakeholder recommendations when it refreshed the star rankings data this year. It is very difficult for hospitals to replicate or improve their scores due to the continued complexity of the star rating methodology and statistical process. Health care quality improvement is best achieved through transparent, meaningful, and actionable data.

WHA recommended that CMS immediately suspend the star ratings for hospitals until:

  • CMS engages an independent auditor to verify the updates have been applied correctly; 
  • CMS removes the Imaging Efficiency measure group; 
  • The calculations to the star ratings are transparent and replicable by hospitals; and,
  • The public and other stakeholders have been provided with education on the intent of the program. 

We will update our members as we learn more.  If you have any questions, contact WHA Chief Quality Officer Beth Dibbert at 608-274-1820.

This story originally appeared in the March 26, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter