MHA Media Statement on 2017 CMS Star Ratings and HAC Penalty Release
Posted on December 21, 2017
The following statement can be attributed to Michigan Health & Hospital Association CEO Brian Peters.
Empowering patients with the information necessary to make the wisest healthcare decisions for themselves and their families is a priority of Michigan hospitals, and the MHA Keystone Center promotes person and family engagement in all aspects of healthcare. With that said, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association urges healthcare consumers to cautiously consider the 2017 release of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Ratings program and list of hospitals incurring penalties under the federal Hospital-acquired Conditions (HAC) Reduction Program.
While scorecards and ratings are one source of information, they should not be the ONLY source of information, nor should they replace face-to-face discussions with an individual’s healthcare provider.
The CMS Star Ratings program is one of the many ratings and scorecards available to patients and healthcare consumers. Since different quality measures and methodologies are used to calculate scores, each report card and rating must be interpreted in context. As a result, hospitals may receive high marks on one report card and low marks on another, which can be confusing to healthcare professionals and patients alike. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association encourages patients and families with questions about their hospital or healthcare needs to discuss those issues with their caregivers.
Preventing hospital-acquired conditions and patient safety as a whole are our hospitals’ first priority. Through the MHA Keystone Center, Michigan hospitals are operating one of the most comprehensive, ambitious patient safety initiatives in the country. These efforts include our work as a Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, where Michigan hospitals have been working with hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin to reduce 11 major areas of patient harm. In addition, in January, the MHA will launch an all-new hospital quality transparency website that will voluntarily share hospitals’ performance on things like infection prevention, C-section rates, mortality and more.
Under the current HAC Reduction program hospitals are graded on a curve, requiring 25 percent of hospitals to face HAC penalties regardless of performance improvements. In addition, the program unfairly penalizes small hospitals, hospitals that often care for the sickest patients, and those with the most complex cases -- that is wrong, and the current law needs to be reformed to more effectively promote improvement. In addition, better measures that accurately reflect performance on important issues are needed.
For additional information about the MHA Keystone Center, visit www.mhakeystonecenter.org.
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