You choose your movies, restaurants and hotels based on a five-star system: one star for the worst, five for the best. Why not choose your hospital the same way? That seems to be the reasoning behind yesterday’s announcement by CMS.
Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer [and holder of one of the longest titles in government] announced on The CMS Blog that as early as late 2014 CMS will add a five-star rating system to Hospital Compare and the other websites that serve as official CMS sources of information on the quality of health care providers. Dr. Conway assures readers that the handy five-star ratings will be based on “established scientific standards of rigor and accuracy.”
Dr. Conway predicts that in addition to empowering consumers with information, the rating system will also “encourage providers to higher levels of quality.”
In other words, they’ll aim for the stars.