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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Comments on CMS Star Ratings TEP Report

    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations

    The AAMC Feb. 25 submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) Measure Selection for Hospital Star Ratings technical expert panel (TEP) comment report. The TEP proposed nine measures for a future star ratings system on the hospital quality website, Hospital Compare.

    The AAMC expressed concerns with the TEP’s goal of creating a hospital-level star rating score, noting that Hospital Compare covers a “wide range of conditions and procedures in the inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department settings” and that combining all of these “multiple dimensional aspects into a single summary score may be misleading and may not be representative of the aspects of care that is truly important for each consumer.”

    The letter further recommends excluding measures under review in the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) sociodemographic status (SDS) trial period from the stars rating display (see related story). This exclusion would include the hospital level readmissions measures utilized in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

    Finally, the AAMC requests that CMS phase-in star ratings, starting with a subset of measures that can be used to compare performance across various types of hospitals.

    The TEP report summarizes recommendations from the first of three planned meetings. The TEP’s next two meetings will focus on developing a method for converting each hospital’s summary score into a five star rating.