• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently updated data contained on the “Hospital Compare” web site and on data.medicare.gov. This data includes specific measures of hospitals’ quality of care, many of which are updated quarterly, and the Hospital Star Ratings, which had not been updated since December 2017.
  • CMS also posted a 48-page document covering potential changes to the Hospital Star Ratings for public comment. These changes seek to enhance the rating methodology by making hospital comparisons more precise and consistent, and by allowing more direct, “like-to-like” comparisons.
  • One potential change, recommended by some hospitals, would place hospitals with similar characteristics into “peer groups,” allowing, for example, small hospitals to be compared to other small hospitals instead of all hospitals.
  • However, CMS also surprised many observers by including the possibility of replacing the Hospital Star Ratings with another approach. But if that is the case, CMS referred to it as a “long-term” consideration that wouldn’t be implemented until sometime beyond the 2020 quality reporting period.