The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings for 2021. CHI Health Good Samaritan was one of only four Nebraska hospitals to receive a rating of five stars--the highest achievement possible.
The Overall Star Ratings is designed to assist patients, consumers and others in comparing hospitals side-by-side. The more stars, the better the hospital performs on the quality measures across five areas--mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience and timely and effective care.
CMS assigned the new ratings to hospitals nationwide on April 28 as follows:
- 204 hospitals received a one-star rating
- 690 hospitals received a two-star rating
- 1,018 hospitals received a three-star rating
- 988 received a four-star rating
- 455 received a five-star rating
CHI Health Good Samaritan, Kearney; Mary Lanning Healthcare, Hastings; Bryan Medical Center, Lincoln; and The Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Omaha were the only Nebraska hospitals awarded five-stars.
CMS last updated its star ratings in January 2020. Visit the CMS website to for a full listing at https://data.cms.gov/provider-data/topics/hospitals/overall-hospital-quality-star-rating/
More about the CMS Overall Star Rating
The Overall Star Ratings are designed to assist patients, consumers, and others in comparing hospitals side-byside. The Overall Star Ratings show the quality of care a hospital may provide compared to other hospitals based on the quality measures reported on Care Compare. The Overall Star Rating summarizes as many as 50 measures publicly reported on Care Compare into a single rating. The measures come from the IQR, OQR, and other programs and encompass measures in five measure groups: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, timely & effective care. The hospitals can receive between one and five stars, with five stars being the highest rating, and the more stars, the better the hospital performs on the quality measures. Most hospitals will display a three star rating.
More about rating methodology
The Overall Hospital Quality Star rating (overall star rating) summarizes a variety of measures across 5 areas of quality into a single star rating for each hospital. Once reporting thresholds are met, a hospital’s overall star rating is calculated using only those measures for which data are available. The average is about 37 measures. Hospitals report data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program, Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, and Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. Overall star ratings aren’t calculated for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or Department of Defense (DoD) hospitals.
The new 2021 methodology uses a simple average of measure scores to calculate measure group scores and Z-score standardization to standardize measure group scores for these 5 measure groups: Mortality, Safety of Care, Readmission, Patient Experience and Timely & Effective Care.
After estimating the group score for each hospital and each group, CMS calculates a weighted average to combine the 5 group scores into a single hospital summary score. If a hospital is missing a measure category or group, the weights are redistributed proportionally amongst the qualifying measure categories or groups
After summary score calculation, hospitals are assigned to one of 3 peer groups based on the number of measure groups for which they report at least three measures; three measure groups, four measure groups, or five measure groups.
Finally, hospitals are assigned to star ratings within each peer group using k-means clustering so that summary scores in one star rating category are more similar to each other and more different than summary scores in other star rating categories.
Only hospitals that have at least 3 measures within 3 measure groups with at least one of those groups being Mortality or Safety of Care, are eligible for an overall star rating. Not all hospitals report all measures. Therefore, some hospitals may not be eligible.
The comprehensive methodology report provides additional detail on the methodology used to calculate the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating.