Medicare is considering assigning stars or some other symbol to hospitals so patients can more easily compare the quality of care at various institutions. The ratings would appear on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website and be based on many of the 100 quality measures the agency already publishes.
The proposal comes as Medicare confronts a paradox: Although the number of ways to measure hospital performance is increasing, those factors are becoming harder for patients to understand. Hospital Compare publishes a wide variety of details about medical centers, including death rates, patient views about how well doctors communicate, and infection rates for colon surgery and hysterectomies.
In proposed rules the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services solicited ideas about “how we may better display this information.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.