Hospital Quality Star Rating Program: Summary from Listening Session Posted

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final summary report of the September 19, 2019 public listening session on the Hospital Quality Star Rating program.

Under the Hospital Quality Star Rating Program, CMS uses data from the Hospital Compare website, to show how well each hospital performed, on average, compared to other hospitals in the U.S. The overall hospital rating ranges from 1 to 5 stars.

Recently questions have been raised on the methodology used to calculate the Star Ratings. In response, CMS implemented changes in February 2019 and is expected to continue making additional changes after the 2020 reporting year. CMS is proposing to make a number of technical changes in how ratings are calculated including how measures are grouped, changes to the methodology of how the data is modeled and changes to the methodology used to assign ratings to a particular hospital.

The purpose of the listening session was for stakeholder to learn about some of the changes and to provide feedback to CMS. Several key themes emerged during the listening session:

  • Participants expressed broad support for Star Ratings and indicated that they thought they were valuable but felt that CMS could improve their usability.
  • Stakeholders urged CMS to consider how Star Ratings are used by stakeholders when updating how they are calculated or presented.
  • Participants affirmed that Star Ratings are valuable for patients who are aware of them, however, they believed too few patients were aware of Star Ratings. Stakeholders suggested CMS engage in outreach to patients to increase awareness of Hospital Compare.
  • Stakeholders were supportive of CMS’s proposed strategies to ensure that overall Star Ratings make meaningful comparisons, including social risk adjustment and peer grouping.

Additional information about the program can be found on the Medicare Hospital Compare website.



For more information visit the McDermottPlus Payment Innovation Resource Center or contact Sheila Madhani at 202-204-1459 or