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Medicare Unveils New Hospital Rating System

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently unveiled a new rating system that ranks more than 3,500 hospitals in the U.S. The ratings are based on reviews from patients and are intended to help Medicare beneficiaries decide which hospital in their area best fits their preventative care and treatment needs. Learn more about the new rating system in our blog.

New Medicare Hospital Rating System

While Medicare already has a rating system for nursing homes, Medicare Advantage plans, and dialysis centers, up until now there was no rating system for the more than 3,500 hospitals in the country that offer care for Medicare beneficiaries.

The new rating system is a 5-star system, with 5 stars being the highest possible rating and 1 star being the lowest.

What do the ratings measure?

The ratings were compiled from data provided by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, which began in 2006. The survey measures 11 areas of patients’ hospital experiences. These are:

  • Communication with nurses
  • Communication with doctors
  • Responsivness of hospital staff
  • Pain management
  • Communication about medication
  • Cleanliness of the hospital environemnt
  • Quietness of the hospital environment
  • Discharge information
  • Care transition
  • Whether the patient would recommend the hospital
  • Overall hospital rating

What was the ratings distribution?

The ratings were based on patient evaluations from July 2013 – June 2014. The following distribution is from Kaiser Health News.

5 Star Hospitals – 251 (7% of total)

4 Star Hospitals – 1,205 (34%)

3 Star Hospitals – 1,414 (40%)

2 Star Hospitals – 582 (16%)

1 Star Hospitals – 101 (3%)

Not-Rated (Not enough patient surveys completed) – 1,102

How can I see hospital ratings in my area?

Visit Medicare’s Hospital Compare page to see hospital ratings in your area. You can input either your zip code or the name of the hospital you want to see. Click search. You can select up to three additional hospitals to compare to your first hospital my clicking “Add to Compare” and then clicking “Compare Now” at the top of the screen. To see the star ratings and information about the experiences of patients, click “Survey of Patients’ Experiences.”


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