In response to hospital and other stakeholder feedback, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced earlier in April that it would delay the release of the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings until July 2016. The Kansas Hospital Association worked collaboratively with the American Hospital Association to urge CMS to delay the rating system to allow additional time to more closely examine the star-rating methodology, analyze its impact on different types of hospitals, and provide more transparent information regarding the calculation of the ratings to determine accuracy. KHA would like to thank each member of the Kansas Congressional Delegation as they joined their colleagues in signing letters to support the hospital industry's request to delay the release.
According to the CMS release, the agency will do the following in the next 60 days:
- Continue to listen to stakeholders. CMS is committed to working with hospitals and associations to provide further guidance about star ratings. If hospitals or other stakeholders have any questions regarding the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings, they can contact the CMS Hospital Compare Star Ratings inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Educate and work with hospitals about their data to analyze questions raised. CMS will host a National Provider Call on May 12, 2016, to answer stakeholder questions. The call is intended to be informative, help hospitals understand their hospital-specific reports and explain the methodology in detail.
- Hear how CMS can evolve Hospital Compare in the future. After the star ratings go live in their first iteration, CMS will refine and improve the site as we work together and gain experience.
Due to this timeline modification, the update to the measure data, originally scheduled for April 21, 2016, will now occur on May 4, 2016. The public release will only include refreshes to the measure data and the release of new measures for the Inpatient Psychiatric Program and Ambulatory Surgical Centers. The preview period for the July 2016 Hospital Compare release also has been modified by two weeks, making them available May 6, 2016, rather than April 22, 2016. Hospitals will have 30 days to review their data prior to the public release of information in July 2016.