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Post by Shelley Fuld Nasso

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they are postponing the release of their Hospital Compare Star Ratings. This is an unfortunate delay, as these ratings will serve as a valuable tool for cancer survivors and their families to have the information necessary to make informed decisions about where they receive care.

In a letter to CMS Acting Director Andy Slavitt to highlight NCCS’ support of the rating system, I reiterated this need for patients:

The Hospital Star Ratings program will provide summary scores and star ratings based on 60 quality measures. This composite information will be weighted to emphasize results from the kinds of measures that are of greatest interest to patients and their families: outcomes measures (addressing mortality, readmissions and safety); and patient experience measures.

In that same letter, I offered a counter argument to imposing any delay.

We understand that there is ongoing research examining the application of risk adjustment to measures used in this composite. Already that research has produced evidence that risk adjustment for socioeconomic status has little impact on hospitals’ performance on these measures. We do not believe there is reason to delay implementation of the Hospital Star Ratings. Should future research produce new information, then adjustments to the Star Ratings methodology could be made.

I commend CMS for embracing this initiative and developing the Hospital Compare Star Ratings. I look forward to the release of the ratings in July as announced by CMS without further delay.

Shelley Fuld Nasso
Shelley Fuld Nasso
Chief Executive Officer
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

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